One of only two incorporated cities in Elberton County, Georgia, Bowman got its start as a railroad town in the late 1800s. Bowman is a small and friendly community. Stretch your legs and chat with your neighbors at Bowman Park. Though small, the park has a shady gazebo and a big red fire hydrant, and music often spills out from the Art and Soul coffee shop and the town's two annual festivals.
Bowman is home to The Sandbar, a kayaking hotspot on the Broad River that welcomes dogs to join you for your aquatic adventure and provides some important pet safety guidelines for kayakers on their website. Sandbar staffers offer bus pickup, parking, and boat rental for a 3.5-hour tour.
Bowman’s location along Georgia Highway 17 means that Royston is an easy 10 minutes in one direction and Elberton just 15 minutes in the other. Both cities offer shopping, pet services, and veterinary practices: the closest is the animal hospital in Royston. Royston is also home to Victoria Bryant State Park, more than 500 acres of creekside meadows and dog-friendly trails — 8 miles of trails, in fact. If that’s still not enough, you could also stroll the nearby campus of Emmanuel College.
Athens, GA — home to the UGA campus and a rich history of indie music — is a bit under 30 miles from Bowman and an ideal doggy day out. Downtown Athens’s four off-leash parks (with several more in surrounding neighborhoods) are all inviting. Who could help having fun at a dog park named Wiggly Field? Posh pups should head for Sandy Creek Nature Center just north of town. The center has free off-leash group play spaces and affordable private fenced park rentals. Or, enjoy the wide, grassy lawns of the historic UGA campus and the dog park at the UGA Recreational Sports Complex. With a laid-back vibe, Athens’s has plenty of dog-friendly patio dining options: more than 60, in fact!