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Safe, semi-rural and family-friendly, Franklinton, LA sits sixty-one miles north of New Orleans on the banks of the beautiful Bogue Chitto River. This small town sure knows how to celebrate -- thousands flock here every October to visit the largest free fair in the United States and the second largest county fair in all of Louisiana. Leashed pooches are welcome at many of the outdoor activities, including the Mile Branch Settlement, an authentic Pioneer village on the fairgrounds.
The enthusiasm around the fair is just one example of Franklinton’s strong community spirit, though -- the town’s civic pride is plain for all to see, from its regular farmer's markets to its pick-your-own-blueberry days at local farms.
Franklinton doesn’t have its own dog park, but that doesn’t mean that you and your buddy are bound to be bored! Outdoorsy pups and their people will be glad to know that there’s a pawesome state park right on the edge of town. In terms of pet care, there’s one veterinary clinic in town, and emergency services are available in Mandeville. You might have to drive a little to get to a fenced area where your furry friend can run free, but you’ll find plenty of op-paw-tunities for off-leash adventure in the surrounding area!
Make no bones about it, if your pooch likes hiking, then a trip to Bogue Chitto State Park is sure to leave them one happy hound! Located right on the edge of Franklinton, the scenery here is some of the best that Louisiana has to offer -- there are miles upon miles of trails for you and your buddy to sniff and explore, running around swamps, through natural cypress forests, and by waterways. If you’re looking for a longer walk, check out the six-mile-long Bogue Chitto State Park Gorge Run Trail, an easy enough hike that features fabulous river views. You’ll need to cross through water at least once, weather depending, so wear suitable shoes!
Pretty Acres Dog Park in Covington's suburban Flowers Estates might be a ways away from Franklinton -- about a forty-minute drive in light traffic -- but once your four-pawed pal gets through those double gates, you’ll be glad you made the trip! Pretty Acres is a pawfect place to let your buddy lose the leash. There’s plenty of room here for even the most energetic fur-ball to blow off a little steam, and there’s a separate area for small dogs, too, so your pup can play and socialize be they big or little! Waste bags and water are provided, so all you need to do is bring your buddy and your enthusiasm.
If you and your pup are looking for a little variety in your off-leash adventures, why not head on down to Hammond and check out Hammond Dog Park? This adorable dog run might not be the largest in the area, but there’s still enough room to run! Like the park in Covington, there’s a separate small dog area, but as an added bonus, there’s also some doggy agility equipment so athletic animals can get some extra canine cardio. Water is provided on-site, but there’s no waste bag dispenser -- don’t fur-get to bring your own with you! This charming historic town is also home to some sweet spots for doggy dining. For a great cup of joe or a sandwich, stop in at Cocoa Bean Bakery and Cafe, where wagging tails are welcome outside. Or for a main meal, take a seat on the patio at the Jacmel Inn, and enjoy authentic Creole cuisine.
You and your buddy are sure to find somewhere to chow down in Downtown Covington! The whole area is chock full of furrifically Fido-friendly eateries. Charming local Italian joint Ristorante del Porto caters to canines, but you’ll need to call ahead to make sure their outdoor seating is available. Some might say that their duck is worth it, though! For a pick-me-up or a light bite, take a sidewalk seat at St. John’s Coffee House, and be sure to try the whole wheat croissant. Or if you prefer to keep it healthy, fresh, and simple, check out Toad Hollow Cafe. Their tuna melts are the stuff of local legend, and they serve doggy diners at their outdoor tables. Afterward, you can burn it all off with a leashed, riverside stroll in Bogue Falaya Wayside Park.
You’d have to be barking mad not take your pooch to Abita Springs! Voted one of the coolest small towns in the entire country, Abita Springs is famous for two things -- its brewery and its bike trails. You can sample the Abita Brewpub's wares while your pooch chills with you on their outdoor patio. The trailhead for the Tammany Trace is also located in Abita Springs' downtown area. A converted railway line, the Tammany Trace runs for thirty-one miles through bucolic rural landscapes, wooded wonderland, and over several springs. Leashed pups are welcome on the trail, but watch out for cyclists!
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