If you take Taylor Road past the interstate and head west past the Crane Lakes Golf & Country Club, your trip will take you to the residential community of Forest Lakes Preserve. While there may not be a gate to turn this into a private community, with only one access road in and out, it might as well be! Those who live here love the tranquility and the fact that they can drive into town where all the shops are in less than ten minutes.
Taylor Road lets out onto Dunlawton Avenue, the main highway running from the I-95 interchange east to where it ends on the beach. It is also the main shopping corridor in town. Along with many big box retailers, there are grocery stores, strip malls, shopping centers, and pet supply stores where you can find everything you need for your pooch from dog food to treats and toys.
Forest Lakes Preserve is a family community with lots of houses, which, in turn, means plenty of traffic during the morning as everyone tries to get to work at the same time. The same problem occurs later in the afternoon as they battle to be the first ones to arrive home. Thankfully, there are plenty of sidewalks running along both sides of the streets here. These give you and your dog somewhere safe to walk away from the traffic. However, if your dog is spooked by heavy traffic, you might want to avoid going out for walks during these times.
The other issue you have to deal with here, as with any family neighborhood, is children at play, especially as the terrain is not particularly challenging. Keep your dog on a short leash and work with any local children to teach them how to approach a dog safely so they don't give your pooch a fright.
There are three lakes here along with several small areas of woods where you and your dog may find places to walk in the shade. From here, it's only a twenty-minute drive out to the Tiger Bay Wildlife Management Area. Covering more than 30,000 acres, the WMA is home to a fantastic array of animals and birds. While hiking the many miles of trails, you might run into any number of wild inhabitants. Be sure you bring plenty of water and your favorite mosquito repellent.
The beach is only fifteen to twenty minutes to the east. Once you get there, you can drive out on the sand and park your car. Bring a picnic basket and the whole family for a fun day in the sun. Make sure you bring plenty of sunblock and water for your dog! Take advantage of the endless sand to take your pup out for long hikes while you look for seashells and make it a fun day for everyone.