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I am currently a cosmetologist here in Atlanta and absolutely love animals! I grew up on a farm so I’ve always grown up with animals and always had a dog, I currently have a little Weimaraner pup named Cleo! She is my best friend! I’ve dog sat for all of my friends and family!
Hartwell is nestled in the northeastern mountains of Georgia, sitting just south of the South Carolina state line. This small town has direct access to the bodies of water that spill out from the Savannah River, which lends its beautiful sights to the area. US Highway 29 runs directly through the center of town, making the commute to other cities easier for many of its residents. Pet parents looking to move to Hartwell can take advantage of the local animal hospital as well as a handful of grooming services.
The historic town square and the Hartwell Dam are the most well-known attractions in town, but the beautiful architecture and breathtaking sunsets take the cake! You and your pup can take a walk around the beautiful city or pack the car up and take a trip up to the Hart State Outdoor Recreation Area for some hiking and fun on Lake Hartwell. While pets aren’t allowed in swimming areas for safety reasons, you can find a pet-friendly campsite and explore the beauty of nature with your four-legged companion.
You can even take Fido along for lunch at one of the local restaurants with pet-friendly outdoor seating. Market 50 is pawfect for grabbing a quick bite and people watching from the sidewalk!
Head further north, about 30 minutes, and you'll hit one of the northernmost points in the state. This is where you'll find Tugaloo State Park, which offers furrific views of Lake Hartwell running between South Carolina and Georgia. Here, you’ll be in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains with a spectacular view of over 55,000 acres of water and extensive woodlands. You can even book a pup-friendly cottage for a private overnight experience! While you are here, you and your family – fur-kids included – can take advantage of the 4 miles of hiking trails and fishing opportunities around the lake. Dogs must be leashed at all times here.
Is your pup the adventurous type that likes to join you on rugged adventures instead of laying on the couch at home? Then a trip to the Sandbar on the Broad River is an absolute must for your furry friend! Grab a couple of life-jackets (the park recommends all pups wear one, too) and a paddle and load up your cooler for a 5-mile kayak ride down the river. Food and drinks are available on the Sandbar, and you may even meet other groups with dogs. Plus, the Sandbar is less than 20 miles out from Hartwell, so it can be the pawfect summer afternoon activity.
Athens is home to one of the most popular dog parks in the area: the Memorial Dog Park. Located in the city park of the same name, this 1.5-acre park is situated just on the other side of the park’s lake. The bark park is free to the public and has direct access to Woodland Hills Drive, which lends its name to the residential community that runs through it. Woodland Hills is a charming neighborhood sandwiched between Memorial Park and Oconee Forest Park, which has tons of trails to explore. The area is ideal for pups that pre-fur the great outdoors, and want more than a walk around the block.
Before you head into the congested city center of Athens, stop on the northern end of town where Sandy Creek Park is. It sits on the edge of Dam Number 10, which is used for water sports by locals during warm seasons. Pet parents, however, frequent the park for another reason: it has not one, but four dog parks that you can use! If you prefer a free experience, stick to the main dog park. It is 1.5 acres and is open to the public. The other three parks are private, and you can rent them for as little as $1 per hour, per dog.
Looking for the pawfect place to play a game of disc golf? Look no further than the Richard B. Russell State Park, which sits on 2,508 acres of land, just off the shore of Russell Lake. Bring your boat, kayak, or fishing lines and spend a day by the water with Fido at your feet. Or, pack an overnight bag and settle in at one of the pet-friendly campgrounds around the park. The lake, which is a whopping 26,650 acres, is a spectacular background for sunsets by the water; plus, there are many hiking trails to explore. Remember to keep Fido on a lead that's 6 feet or shorter and always keep a watchful eye when in the park!
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