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Independence is the type of small town where all the neighbors are on a first-name basis. Located in Tangipahoa Parish, LA, this unsuspecting village attracts thousands of visitors every year! If you and Fido are looking for a unique vacation destination, definitely consider Independence, LA.
This quiet little town has lots to offer if you are ready to revel in the beauty of the outdoors. The Ponchatoula Creek runs through the western end of Independence, which makes for a pleasant walking trail for everyday use. If you’re looking for overnight accommodations in Independence, you’re in for a treat! The rustic charm of Indian Creek Campground and RV Park welcomes families with furry friends. The Natalbany River runs through this area, just a few minutes outside of town, and gives access to a fishing area and even a swimming hole for those on two legs!
This area is also great for pet parents who pre-fur to keep their distance from big cities but still want to be within driving distance. For everyday necessities, like dog groomers and veterinary services, you can take a quick 15-minute drive south to the neighboring city of Hammond. Plus, with easy access to Interstate 55, this is the perfect commute city for pet parents looking to settle down near Baton Rouge!
A 20-minute ride south will take you to another city in Tangipahoa Parish: Hammond. Unlike Independence, Hammond is a large-scale city with lots of urban amenities. In addition to pet-friendly restaurants where you can grab a bite, like Mariner’s Inn in the City Center, you can discover other hidden gems within the city. One of the local parks, Zemurray Park, hosts a small dog park within it where Fido can run around with other canines. If you’re only visiting Hammond temporarily and don't want to "ruff" it, you can settle down at the La Quinta Inn nearby, which lets Fido stay for no additional fee!
We understand that taking Fido to the same dog park over and over again can get boring. Are you searching for new spots to try out in the Independence area? Then drive over to the neighboring town of Covington, in the St. Tammany Parish. Thanks to its proximity to the bustling highways of I-55 and I-12, the drive to Covington from Independence is less than an hour! Here, you’ll be able to let Fido off-leash at the Pretty Acres Dog Park in Southeast Covington. On the opposite side of the highway, you’ll find a series of unnamed trails just waiting for you to explore.
Just outside of Mandeville, LA, on the outskirts of the Fontainebleau State Park, is the Pelican Bark Park. Pelican Park has over 30 athletic fields, in addition to amenities like a skate park and disc golf field. The Bark Park is about a 50-minute drive from Independence, although the St. Tammy Parish recommends calling before visiting just in case of closures. If you and Fido are feeling pawticularly adventurous, you can venture into the state park nearby, although you won’t be allowed overnight with a pet. Once inside, go on a hike on the 5-mile trail, or venture towards the lakeside to get a glimpse of the famous Lake Pontchartrain.
The Garden District of Baton Rouge is a beautiful neighborhood that is true to its name, complete with lots of green space in the area. Just off the very popular Zeeland Street, you’ll find small parks like Edward Avenue Park. On the other side of town, however, is the massive City-Brooks Community Park, complete with the City Park Lake. On the northern end of this space, you’ll find the neighborhood's edition of the citywide bark park: Raising Cane's. On the other side is Brook's Park, which has many trails within it that you can discover, so long as Fido stays on a leash 6 feet or shorter.
Looking for a place where your canine can cool off? In South Baton Rouge, at the far end of the Burbank Soccer Center, is the full-service Burbank Dog Park. In addition to the sections for large and small dogs, this park has a fenced swim area where your pup can wet their paws. You’ll also find separate agility areas, a retriever training pond, and a bathing station. This trip is sure to be a messy one, even if your dog doesn’t get wet, so be sure to bring a couple of towels! The Neighborhood Pet Market by Jefferson Feed is also in this area, which provides holistic food and care options for your precious pets.
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