When the census bureau went through Palm Coast, Florida in 2000, the population was only 33,000. By 2014, the population had boomed to over 80,000 and continues to grow to this day. Housing here varies from expensive single-family homes on the saltwater canals to multi-family housing. Laid out on a grid map before the first home's foundations were laid, the streets are carefully planned out. Depending on where you live in town, you have access to dog-friendly parks, groomers, vets, and plenty of excellent restaurants to choose from. Best of all, you are only a short drive from the beach and miles of Florida wetlands and forests of live oaks.
The weather here is nothing short of amazing once you get used to the humidity. With summer highs in the 90s and winter lows in the 40s, you can always find time to take your pup for a walk.
The terrain in Palm Coast varies between very flat residential areas, vast expanses of woods, and wetlands. The sections of town are laid out alphabetically with some sections being on the saltwater canals with others on the freshwater canals and many more in tight-knit neighborhoods without water. The ground is mainly flat with some very shallow rolling hills, none of which are likely to give you or your pooch much of a challenge when it comes to going on hikes together.
Unless you plan on taking your pup out to the coast or the nearby Graham Swamp Conservation Area, your best bet is to try to vary the number of blocks you walk and the direction you take once you reach the bottom of your driveway. There are many different trails you can take, parks you can play in, and, of course, the beach where the terrain varies depending on whether the tide is in or out.
The town might have been planned, but during the process of planning, the developer worked with the Florida Conservation Society and others to incorporate as many greenways as possible. The entire town is surrounded by parks, nature preserves, and recreational areas.
Up north, you can take your pup walking in Pellicer Creek Corridor Conservation Area, Faver-Dykes State Park, Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, and the Matanzas State Forest. All of these parks and areas have numerous trails for the two of you to explore with varying terrain that will make your walks more challenging.
To the south is Bulow Creek State and Tomoka State Parks. For those of you who are truly adventurous, a short drive into the middle of the state takes you to the Ocala National Forest that offers miles of roads and trails to hike under the shade of live oaks, palm trees, and numerous other trees. Just be sure to bring your mosquito repellent!