June 2nd, 2015
Summer Fun with Your Dog? Try These Orlando Day Trips
Now that summer is here, you may be thinking of fun things to do in the greater Central Florida area with the whole family, including your dog. Without doing a lot of research, what are some activities you can do that involve your dog? Here are a few ideas for active day trips you may or may not know about. All are within an hour and a half of the Orlando area.
Do you like the beach or water activities? If so, check out these destinations that allow dogs.
- Smyrna Dunes Park, New Smyrna Beach. Dogs must be on leash at this inlet beach, but there are showers, bathrooms, nature trails, picnic pavilions, and more to make it a fun day for the whole family.
- Winterhaven Park, Ponce Inlet. Leashed dogs are allowed on this beachfront park. It also has restrooms and ample parking.
- Wekiva Island, Longwood. A popular dog friendly gathering spot for those wanting to play on the Wekiva River. Visitors can go canoeing, paddle boarding, kayaking, swimming or simply hang out along the banks of the river. The river remains a constant 72 degrees year round making it a perfect spot to cool off on a hot summer day. Water loving dogs will absolutely love jumping in the water here.
- De Soto Park and its Paw Playground, St. Petersburg. Dogs are allowed off leash in the Paw Playground area of the beach and in the associated fenced areas. They are allowed on leash anywhere in Ft. De Soto Park, which has an old Spanish fort to explore, plus over 7 miles of waterfront, camping, picnic pavilions, restrooms, recreation and nature trails, and more.
- Flagler Beach. Dogs are allowed on leash on the beach north of N. 10th and south of S. 10th St. Leashes must be shorter than 8 ft.
- Canova Beach Park, Indian Harbour Beach. This dog friendly beach is located south of Satellite Beach. The park includes a grill, small pavilion, restrooms, drinking fountains, showers and more. Dogs must be on leash and must wear tags.
What about hiking with your dog? Here are some ideas for local hikes.
- Alderman’s Ford Park Loop, LIthia (east of Tampa near Brandon). This lovely park features a 1.9 mile loop trail with a white water river. There are picnic tables, restrooms, and they have a canoe launch and rentals. Leashed dogs are welcome.
- Blue Springs State Park, Orange City. A prime spot for manatee viewing in the winter, this beautiful park boasts a crystal clear spring with year round 73 degree water. Hiking, picnicking, swimming, and other activities are available. Dogs are allowed on a 6 ft. leash, and not allowed in the water.
- Bulow Creek, Ormond. The highlight of his park is one of the largest remaining stands of southern live oak forests along Florida’s east coast. The Fairchild Oak is one of the largest live oak trees in the south. There are several trails, the longest of which takes you past Bulow Plantation Ruins State Park. There are plenty of amenities and activities in this park for the whole family, including picnicking and canoeing. Dogs are allowed on a 6 ft. leash.
- Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park, Flagler Beach. A monument to the rise and fall of sugar plantations in East Florida. This park as walking trails that lead to the ruins, restrooms, canoeing, picnicking, and more. Dogs are also allowed on a 6 ft. leash.
- Colt Creek State Park, Lakeland. This park offers over 12 miles of multi-use trails for hiking. Other activities include horseback riding, biking, fishing, canoeing, and primitive camping. Dogs are allowed on a 6 ft. leash.
- De Leon Springs State Park, De Leon Springs. Another state park with a beautiful spring, hiking trails, swimming, canoeing, picnicking and more. Dogs are allowed on the hiking trails and picnic areas, but must be on a 6 ft. leash.
- Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area, Flagler Beach. Located on the beach in Flagler, this park has hiking trails, picnicking, canoeing, camping and more. Dogs are not allowed on the beach, but are allowed on the trails and picnic areas as long as they’re on a 6 ft. leash.
- Wekiva Springs State Park, Apopka. Wekiva Springs is a beautiful state park that a offers hiking, picnicking, swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, and more. Dogs are allowed on a 6 ft. leash but are not allowed near the swimming or sun bathing areas.
These are just a few suggestions for day outings with activities that the whole family will enjoy, including your dog. No need to leave your furry best friend behind when looking for a fun way to spend the day. So pack up the family, lunch, and your dog, and head to one of these destinations to enjoy some of Florida’s best in outdoor activities!