Hikers and their four-legged companions have a new reason to hit the trails this year. Georgia State Parks have launched a “Tails on Trails” dog-walking quest where members earn a t-shirt for themselves and matching bandana for their pup. Hikers buy a $15 membership card, then get it punched after hiking each of the 7 participating state parks. Dogs must be leashed at all times, and some parks even offer ranger-led hikes where visitors can meet other dog lovers. Pets are welcome in Georgia State Park campground and select dog-friendly cabins. To learn more, visit GaStateParks.org/TailsOnTrails.
Tails on Trails Club parks include:
Fort Mountain State Park, Chatsworth
Lake Trail (1.1-mile loop)
Explore a shaded forest and a serene creek valley along the 1.1-mile stretch of Fort Mountain’s Lake Trail. The trail is short and mostly flat, making a great running loop for owners and their dog.
F.D. Roosevelt State Park, Pine Mountain
Mountain Creek Trail (3.2-mile loop)
Dogs will enjoy roaming on the gentle, rolling mountains of Georgia’s largest state park. The Mountain Creek Trail is one of the most scenic and passes through several plant habitats, such as pine and hardwood forests.
Don Carter State Park, Lake Lanier
Woodland Loop and Lakeview Loop Trails (1.5 miles)
The hike on the Lakeview Loop Trail showcases Don Carter State Park’s prime location on the 38,000-acre Lake Lanier, and is paved for stroller and wheelchair accessibility. Dog owners who are seeking shade can venture into the forest to hike the Woodland Loop Trail.
Sweetwater Creek State Park, Lithia Springs
Red Trail (2 miles) and White Trail (5-mile loop)
Sweetwater Creek features 2 trails for Tails on Trails club members, and both lead to Civil War-era ruins of a textile mill. The Red Trail, 2 miles, is the most frequently used and leads directly to the ruins. For a longer trek, members can hike along Sweetwater Creek’s rocky banks on the 5-mile White Trail Loop.
High Falls State Park, Jackson
Falls Trail (1.5-mile loop)
Dogs can frolic along the Towliga River accompanied by the sound of the upcoming High Falls. The 1.5 mile Falls Trail is a moderately challenging trek through hilly forests that offers a rewarding waterfall view.
Fort McAllister State Park, Richmond Hill
Redbird Creek Trail (3.1-mile loop)
Stroll on the 3.1-mile Redbird Creek Trail under the cover of Spanish moss and discover scenic views of salt marshes, coastal wetlands and nature viewing opportunities at Fort McAllister State Park.
Red Top Mountain State Park, Lake Allatoona
White Tail Trail (1-mile loop)
The White Tail Trail of Red Top Mountain State Park meanders through hardwood forest to a beautiful overlook of Lake Allatoona.
Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites offers several additional clubs for all types of outdoor lovers, including the Park Paddlers Club for canoe and kayak enthusiasts, the Muddy Spokes Club for mountain bikers and casual cyclists and the Canyon Climbers Club for hikers. Other activities and programs include theFirst-Time Camper Program, Parks GeoTour and the RV Club. To learn more about Georgia State Parks’ clubs, visit GaStateParks.org/ParkClubs or call 770-389-7401.