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The only city in Washington Parish, Bogalusa, LA was built in the middle of pine forest nearly 120 years ago. Originally a company town that sprung up around the operations of the Great Southern Lumber Company, Bogalusa was once known as "Magic City", as construction on the settlement took less than a year. Though the lumber industry has declined, a paper mill still remains. These days, though, Bogalusa is mostly known as a small, friendly town that manages to maintain a diverse and lively atmosphere -- and as the hometown of renowned civil rights activist Robert "Bob" Hicks.
There’s no designated dog park in Bogalusa, but that doesn’t mean that you and your buddy are bound to be bored! The city has a couple of community parks that are ideal for leashed walks -- the walking trail in Goodyear Park is particularly pawpular with local pups and their people. Outdoorsy pooches might also be glad to know that there a couple of fantastically Fido-friendly hiking options close by. In terms of pet care, there’s are two veterinary clinics in town, and emergency services are available in nearby Mandeville. And if your buddy longs to lose the leash, don’t worry -- there are some pawesome dog parks just a little further afield!
While you’re in Bogalusa, it’d be a huge faux paw not to take a stroll around Cassidy Park! This treasured local green space is densely forested with the pines that once surrounded the whole city. You and your pooch can take a wander through the woods, and non-furry family members will certainly appreciate the well-maintained playground. Cassidy Park is also something of a hub for community events -- the park hosts the annual Bogalusa Blues music festival in September, as well as lighting up the forest canopy during the festive season for Christmas in the Park. Remember to bring bags and water!
If your pooch likes to hike, you’d be barking mad not to take them to Bogue Chitto State Park! Located just over thirty minutes from Bogalusa in the town of Franklinton, the park straddles the banks of the Bogue Chitto River, and the trails run around swamps, by streams, and through cypress forests. The main draw for most hikers is the Bogue Chitto State Park Gorge Run Trail, a six-mile stretch that boasts fabulous views of the river. You’ll need to cross through shallow water at least once, so make sure to bring appropriate footwear! The trail doesn't have any amenities -- don't forget to bring waste bags and water as well.
Downtown Abita Springs is a real mutts-visit! Just a 32-minute drive from Bogalusa, this quirky town is most famous for its brewery -- and wagging tails are most certainly welcome on the outdoor patio at the Abita Brewpub, where you two can sample various craft beers alongside authentic Creole cuisine. That’s not all that Abita Spring’s downtown area has to offer, though! The town is also quite well-known for its bike trails, and there’s a trailhead for the thirty-one mile long Tammany Trace on Main St. A former railway line, the route passes through woodland and pastoral landscapes and over streams. Look out for speeding cyclists!
Make no bones about it, a trip to Pretty Acres Dog Park in Covington is sure to get your buddy’s tail wagging! Tucked away in the quiet and residential neighborhood of Flowers Estates, the park is actually only one acre in size, but there’s still plenty of room in both the large and small dog areas for even the most hyperactive of hounds to blow off a little steam. Not only that, but there’s even a couple of play pools for your pooch to splash about in, as well as a quarter-mile walking trail around the park’s perimeter. Bags and water are provided, so all you have to do is BYOB (Bring Your Own Beast)!
If you and your pooch are looking for something different to do, why not take the drive up to Picayune and check out the Crosby Arboretum? You’ll need to cross the state line to Mississippi to get to this amazing enclave, but if you’ve any interest in nature at all, the trip is well worth it. A project of Mississippi State University, the arboretum is divided into three separate "exhibits" -- swamp woodland, savannah grassland, and aquatic, with furrific trails running throughout all three (technically "around" in the case of the aquatic landscape, but there’s a good chance you’ll see some turtles on the trail). Pups are welcome as long as they’re on a leash no longer than six feet.
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