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Your Dog-Friendly Travel Guide to Lake Hartwell Country

There is no better road trip buddy than your most beloved pet. With the music blaring, windows down, and drool flying back in the wind, we can’t imagine a better reason to wag your tail. Our dogs deserve an adventure, and we owe it to them to create a good one in the short life they have. With the weather warming up and flowers in bloom, we thought it would be the perfect time to make memories in Lake Hartwell Country with your four-legged friend.

If you plan to stay more than a day in the Upstate, you’re in luck with multiple pet-friendly hotels, Airbnb, and campgrounds in our area. You can search for one here. You’ll need to search for a place that is closest to all the activities you want to enjoy, and that’s where we come in.

First things first, find the perfect hike that’s easy on your pup, with plenty of things to sniff and climb. Oconee State Park is a great spot to stay and play. Bring a tent, camper or book a cabin for the weekend and make the most out of the beautiful scenery. You’ll have access to the lake and multiple trailheads within the area, including the Foothills Trail, South Carolina’s 77-mile hike on the Blue Ridge Escarpment. Pets are allowed in most outdoor areas outside of the trails if they are on a leash.

Other parks that allow pets are Sadlers Creek State Park, Rocky River Nature Park and of course, if you want to take an Instagram-worthy photo, we recommend hiking to Yellow Branch Falls. For a light walk that encompasses all the best of spring flowers, rare botanicals, and a peaceful breeze, we recommend taking a stroll through the South Carolina Botanical Garden in Clemson. Your pup will love all the different floral scents, people stopping for head pats, and chasing ducks down by the pond.

If you and your dog are big thrill seekers and you’ve just climbed a mountain on Day 1, maybe you should think of renting a boat or a kayak for Day 2. Jocassee Lake Tours and Lake Keowee Boat Rentals are great companies that allow you to bring pets on board. A full day in the breeze and sunshine, followed by some fishing or tubing sounds like fun to us! You can also rent a kayak at Devils Fork State Park and follow the shoreline to a waterfall just around the bend. With a stunning view of the Blue Ridge Mountains in front of you, it makes for a fantastic spot to bank the kayak and eat a light lunch. The water is shallow right off the beaches, but make sure to give Fido a life vest. Lake Jocassee has a maximum depth of 350 feet.

If you are looking for something to eat, bring the dog bowls with you! These fantastic restaurants and bars in the area are extremely dog-friendly:

If you want to “wine” down with your pup responsibly, check out Chattooga Belle Farm and City Scape Winery. You can’t beat the views, the people are extremely friendly, and your dog might even find a playmate.

So, get out and explore Lake Hartwell Country on all paws. There’s plenty to do, places to see, and memories to be made. If you need help planning your next trip, reach out to us on our website or give us a call at (864) 646-3782. We can’t wait to see you.

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