About an hour's drive from the state capital of Atlanta, Madison is a small town with big character, boasting pretty antebellum homes, a charming downtown area, and one of the largest and oldest National Historic Districts in Georgia. Picturesque Madison also has two animal hospitals to cater to the needs of its furry residents and tourists, so rest assured that your best friend will be taken care of while you're in town.
Heritage Park is a great place to take the entire family, Fido included. Open fields and paved walkways make it a nice spot to walk the dog, while picnic shelters and a playground make it ideal for spending a beautiful afternoon with the kids. Walton and Hill Parks are other good places to go for leashed walkies with Fido, despite being smaller and having fewer amenities.
If you're passing through town and need to make a pit stop with your pup, TA Madison has a dedicated area just for four-legged travelers, complete with waste bags and trash receptacles. Here, Fido can stretch his legs, get some exercise, or simply take a pawse. The travel store also carries various pet care products, in case you need to pick up some supplies.
Stop by Madison with your pup for a woofderful, authentic Southern town experience!
Beautiful and well-maintained, the Madison Town Park is a must-visit when you're in town. Because it's usually not very crowded, the Madison Town Park is great for taking a leisurely leashed stroll with your pooch. Around the park, you'll find open spaces, walking paths, benches, drinking fountains, a central fountain, a patio with tables and chairs, and a pavilion stage where performances are held. If you get hungry from walking around, you're in luck as the Madison Town Park is surrounded by several nearby restaurants. Those that offer dog-friendly outdoor seating include Amici Madison, Ricardo's Kouzzina, Perk Avenue, and That Pizza Place.
If you and Fido are traveling through Madison in an RV and need a place to park for the night, head to the Country Boys RV Park. As a guest, you'll get access to 30 and 50 amp connections, direct TV cable, power, water, sewer, and Wi-Fi. Dogs staying at the RV park must be leashed at all times and must be approved first by the on-site manager, as certain breeds are not allowed. If you'd rather stay in a hotel, the Quality Inn welcomes one pet up to 35 pounds for an additional fee. Rooms come with free Wi-Fi, coffee, and a continental breakfast. Call first to make sure you get a Fido-friendly room!
Experience the natural beauty of northern Georgia with Fido at the Oconee National Forest! Spanning an extensive 116,323 acres across several counties, the Oconee National Forest is a furrific destination for outdoor enthusiasts, whether human or canine. The northern part of the forest offers opportunities for camping, hiking, boating, picnicking, mountain biking, OHV trail riding, fishing, and wildlife viewing. This section also includes the Scull Shoals historic site, a ghost town that was once occupied by Native Americans and the site of Georgia's first paper mill. Note that most amenities at the Oconee National Forest require fees, so you may want to get the Chattahoochee-Oconee Annual Forest Pass.
About 13 miles northwest of Madison, the Hard Labor Creek State Park in nearby Rutledge is one of the largest state parks in Georgia. Covering 5,804 acres in two counties, this park offers 2.5 miles of hiking trails and 12.5 miles of biking trails, among other amenities. The nature trails, which are easy to moderate, will take you and your adventurous pup among mature hardwoods and across vital wetlands. Keep in mind that Fido must be leashed at all times, and that certain areas such as the historic sites and lodges are off-limits to four-legged visitors. Pet-friendly accommodations are available, though, should you wish to camp overnight.
The 364-acre Heritage Park in nearby Watkinsville lies 12 miles north of Madison and is a puptastic place to go hiking with a high-energy pooch. The site comprises woods, creeks, and the Apalachee River, providing a peaceful and natural setting for getting some exercise in with Fido. Breathe in the fresh country air as you and your canine companion tackle the 2.5 miles of walking trails, which are free to use for all. There is also a picnic area on-site, so bring food and water for both of you. As always, keep Fido on a leash and clean up after him!