Calling all bird dogs! If you're a fowl-loving Floridian, then you will adore the Chipola River Greenway-Butler Trail in Marianna. This dog-friendly path is part of the Great Flordia Birding and Wildlife Trail and showcases the enormous variety of plant and animal life in the Sunshine State year-round. The landscape is as diverse as it is beautiful. Your walk will take you past vibrant floodplain forests, thriving wetlands carved by the rolling Chipola river, natural caves, and even sinkholes!
The loop trail is 3.5 miles in length and consists of natural surfaces like compressed soil and sand. Several trail connectors allow your pack to tailor their walk to be as long or short as they like and are great for adding variety to the typical routine. The trees on the main trail are marked with orange, and trees marked with white paint denote spur trails. Following the Chipola from the eastern trailhead, you will pass through natural wetlands until you arrive at majestic Alamo Cave. The Butler trailhead lies on the northern side of the greenway and traverses mostly through woodlands and grassy meadows until it conjoins with the main trail.
Most of your walk will be shaded by the lush canopy, which your pup is sure to appreciate during the humid Flordia summer, but you will still need to bring plenty of water for your pack! The greenway is especially spectacular (and much cooler) during the autumn months, when the forest canopy bursts into dazzling reds and oranges. There are picnic tables at the trailheads but no restrooms, so make sure you stop for a bathroom break on the way! Be sure to pack some bags for when your pups take a break of their own! Early mornings are usually the best time to visit if you want to avoid crowds; this is also when much of the wildlife is most active! Your doggies will adore seeing all the critters hard at work!