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Off the Gulf water features with a dog??

Hamilton, Ohio
2 posts
1 review
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Off the Gulf water features with a dog??

I'm planning a trip to PCB during Thanksgiving week with my family (2 adults, a 7 year old and a 13 year old) and our 1 year old medium sized dog. I've found accomodations that allow the dog, no problem and have also researched the beaches as far as dog friendliness goes, so I have an idea of what we are getting into on that front.

That said, the dog absolutely LOVES water. We are from Ohio and we hike at least once a week with her and always encounter creeks/small rivers that she loves to take a swim in. I was wondering if anyone who lives in Panama City could tell me if there are any local/county/off the beaten path parks that 1)allow dogs and 2) have creeks/lakes/slow rivers that the dog would be able to take a dip in? This may seem like a strange post...but I would love to be able to do some Florida hiking and also allow the dog to have a good time with what she does best. I know the beach might be hit or miss weather wise...so looking for some alternate outdoor activities to entertain us all.

Any thoughts out there??

Thank you!

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Saint Louis...
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502 posts
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1. Re: Off the Gulf water features with a dog??

I'm not a local anymore, but just in case no one mentions it, remember that depending on where you're at, some of the lakes may have alligators which might look at your medium size dog as a nice tasty dinner.

Camp Helen is a nice park that doesn't attract much attention. It does have a nature trail but I wouldn't call it real hiking. Unless of course, you walk all the way to the beach from there. Then it's a long trek through deep shifting sand that will even tire out Fido.

Hamilton, Ohio
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1 review
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2. Re: Off the Gulf water features with a dog??

I suppose I should have the forethought that wildlife in FL is definitely different than here in OH...and that said we definitely do not want to end up providing gator treats on our adventure.

I know in this area we have a lot of county run parks that have mild to moderate hiking trails and generally are maintained/dog friendly/not too dangerous for leisurely family time.

I'm not sure if there is anything comparable where we are going--just trying to plan ahead so we know where we can take the dog (safely) so she can have her fun, too.

Thank you for the reminder that we will be out of our normal realm of adventuring! :)

Saint Louis...
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502 posts
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3. Re: Off the Gulf water features with a dog??

JM,

These folks (Bay Families with Dogs) take care of the dog beach. The county doesn't maintain the dog beach area at all. The upkeep is paid for by those families who participate and donations. Which reminds me that I need to make a donation again. They may have some good ideas for you since they live there. I would send them an email.

http://www.bayfwd.org/news.php

Columbus, Ohio
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4. Re: Off the Gulf water features with a dog??

I'm also not a local, but have been visiting the area for quite some time now. Bay County doesn't allow dogs on the beach. You might see some, but they aren't allowed. My husband and I went to St. Joe Beach last week for vacation and took our two dogs with us. SJB is in Gulf County (right next door to Bay County), and is completely dog friendly. Dogs are allowed on the beach, and dogs can go to most of the parks (St. Joseph Peninsula State Park does NOT allow dogs for some reason). All state parks in Florida do not allow dogs on the beach regardless of county, but most other areas for hiking does allow dogs. It's probably a 40 minute drive from PCB, but at least it's an option. We really enjoyed having our dogs with us on vacation, and they seemed to enjoy the beach. They do have leash laws, but some people with more obedient dogs let them off-leash.

However, despite no dogs on the beach, PCB does have some places that are dog friendly. For hiking, there is St. Andrew's Bay St. Park and Camp Helen State Park. Again, they can go on the trails but are not allowed on the beach. Frank Brown Park has two pet areas, and I want to say there is a new park that opened recently or is opening soon that is pet friendly. Pier Park is pet friendly, but they can't go inside the stores/restaurants. The only restaurant I recall that you can take your pooch with you and sit on the patio is Flamingo Joe's.

visitpanamacitybeach.com/do/for-dog-lovers/

Saint Louis...
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502 posts
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5. Re: Off the Gulf water features with a dog??

I should have posted this link to Bay Families with Dogs on my previous post.

http://www.bayfwd.org/community.php

Panama City Beach...
3 posts
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6. Re: Off the Gulf water features with a dog??

Hi, I am local and have 2 dogs which we take hiking on a regular basis. My favorite is Pinelog State ForestIt is North on 79 about 10 miles north of the new airport turnoff just before Ebro. It is on the west side of the road. Also, Panama City Beach has their new conservation park and Gayles Trails. It is absolutely beautiful. Besides the dog beach, rent a pontoon and take the pooch out to Shell Island , she will love it!!

7. Re: Off the Gulf water features with a dog??

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