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The town of Abbeville, SC has a few claims to fame. It was the site of an 1860 meeting to plan South Carolina’s secession, and also where Confederate Jefferson Davis dismissed his cabinet at the end of the Civil War. The historic Abbeville Opera House has been active since 1904. More recently, the town's quaint downtown made it an attractive filming location for the Julia Roberts classic Sleeping with the Enemy.
Despite its small size, Abbeville has plenty to offer discerning dogs. With friendly neighbors and shady sidewalks, you’ll want to explore this lovely town on foot. There are two veterinary practices in Abbeville and several others in nearby Greenwood. Abbeville has good park-ing, too. Chestnut Street Park is a small neighborhood park just two blocks from the town square, pawfect for a quick walk on the short paved path or a frolic in the open field. Wilson Hill Park also has a trail for easy exercise.
Do your big dogs need a bigger challenge? Just 8 miles south of downtown Abbeville, you'll find ample hiking around Parsons Mountain. A 10-mile Forest Service loop trail is used by hikers, ATVs, and bikers; avoid or exercise caution during deer season. For a small day-use parking fee at the Parsons Mountain Lake Campground, you can access the tamer Parsons Mountain Lake Trail and Parsons Mountain Tower Trail.
Some streets are made for walking, and that's why Abbeville draws visitors from near and far. The small but comfortable town square is home to locally-owned shops and restaurants; grab some take-out and have an impromptu puppy picnic in the square. Or, just hit the sidewalk. The surrounding historic district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as are several individual buildings dating to the 19th and early 20thcentury. Surely any pup would want to see the Barksdale House (the McGowan-Bundy-Barksdale House, to be more precise). The Burk-Stark Mansion was an important Civil War site, and while your pups can’t join you for a tour of the interior, they’ll get an eyeful from Jeff Davis Park adjacent to the mansion.
Seven miles southeast of the town square, Abbeville’s Long Cane Scenic Area provides a more rugged and natural environment with hiking and biking trails in a wooded preserve. You’ll see wildlife plus the historic Long Cane Cemetery and the 1825 stagecoach road to Charleston. The 25-mile loop of the Long Cane Trail cuts through the scenic area, so it's easy to extend your journey into the surrounding Sumter National Forest. The trail is used by equestrians and mountain bikers, too, so make sure your pups stay on-leash. You can fill up your water bottles (and maybe hit up the restrooms) at the Scenic Area before hitting the trail.
The City of Greenwood, 14 miles east, is the nearest retail hub with pet supply stores, so your pups might consider it a home-away-from-home. You can invite them on a perfect Doggy Date Night in Uptown Greenwood. You'll find great window shopping at the boutiques and art galleries, and several annual festivals and a weekly market add to the fun. A number of restaurants offer pet-friendly outdoor dining; our favorite is The Mill House, beloved for its funky vibe, fantastic pizza, and locally-brewed beer. You can pick up some libations at Flynn’s on Maxwell; dogs can join you to browse as long as they get along with Milo, the St. Bernard in residence. As long as you’re in Greenwood, make time for a trip to Grace Street Park a couple of miles north; the off-leash dog park has two shady and well-kept dog runs, and a loop trail circles the lake.
At over 300 acres, the Calhoun Falls State Park is worth an easy 17-mile drive from Abbeville. The real attraction is massive Lake Russell, and water dogs in your pack will enjoy splashing, swimming, and even boating: the park offers public ramps and slip rentals. The park's 1.75-mile loop trail means you can explore on foot, too: the deep pine forest is as peaceful as it gets. You might want to stay awhile, so consider the pet-friendly campground. Or, keep exploring: Georgia's Richard B Russell State Park is across the lake, an easy drive and an easier boat ride away. You'll pass near Elberton, GA, which is the easiest place to grab lunch or pick up provisions for your day in the sunshine.
Hickory Knob State Resort Park in McCormick, about 26 miles from Abbeville, is pawpular for its golf course on the shores of Strom Thurmond Lake. On-leash dogs are allowed to enjoy outdoor areas in the park, too, and there's a lot more than golfing. You can rent a canoe or kayak and take your pups out for a dog-paddle. Or, hit the trail: you have 12 miles of it to sniff out, including the 1.7-mile Turkey Ridge Trail and the more ambitious 7.2-mile Lakeview Loop. Bring a picnic or order take-out from the on-site restaurant, or grab some lunch at one of the restaurants along Highway 378. Baker Creek State Park is only 7 miles away, so you have another 10 miles of trail and waterfront camping just up the road.
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