Pet Friendly Parks and Trails in Newton County

As you practice social distancing and avoid public places, you don’t have to stay cooped up in your home. There are pet friendly parks in Newton County where you can go to help change your surroundings, get outside and enjoy the fresh air.

With the spring season here, the weather is comfortable and outdoor activities offer great opportunities to spend with your furry friend. Whether you are looking to bond with love and affection in animal companionship or want a four-legged accountability partner to exercise with, pet owners have many options in Newton County when it comes to outdoor pet tourism.

Before heading off, think about what you want for you and your dog. Getting outdoors is not just good for you, it’s good for your dog, too. At our pet friendly parks, dogs can exercise off leash and socialize as they run around freely, chase balls, and play together. For more physical activity that helps you exercise while bonding with your pet, there are many local trails to run or walk your dog on a leash in a natural setting.

If you are wondering where you can bring your dog for exercise, socialization and outdoor animal companionship, here are some pet tourism places in Newton County.

Dog Parks

Dog Park at Turner Lake

The newest dog park at  Turner Lake Complex opened in November 2019. With it’s fenced enclosures, you can have peace of mind that your dog can run and play off leash in a safe environment. There are two fenced enclosures – one for small dogs, 30 pounds and up, and one for larger dogs, 30 pounds and more — plus they feature several activities and apparatus for dogs to exercise. It’s operated and maintained by the Newton County Parks and Recreation Department.

Sandy’s Dog Park

Sandy’s Dog Park is located in Chimney Park in downtown Covington, just behind the main library. It’s a treasure to have this great little spot with sections for small and large dogs, including some shade, within a 12-acre natural setting. The dog park was built in memory of Sandy Elder, who had many dogs for animal companionship – all of them named Tiny, all black, and each dog larger than the last one. Sandy’s Dog Park was built and is maintained under the guidance and leadership of Friends of Chimney Park.

Newton Trails

Turner Lake

Walking trails are a good place to exercise for both you and your four-legged friend. One of the reasons we love to go to Turner Lake is because we can head to the dog park and also walk along the  Turner Lake trail system. There is a short paved trail that goes along the lake before looping into the woods. For a longer excursion and added adventure, branch off on one of the unpaved trails.

Eastside Trail

You and your furry friend can bond together as you walk the 2.5 mile multi-use  Eastside Trail. The paved, scenic trail gently winds through greenways for recreation and relaxation. You’ll walk through woods, along boardwalks that pass over wetlands, and via a tunnel to allow safe passage beneath the Covington By-Pass. The trail connects the library, Chimney Park and Eastside High School. With Sandy’s Dog Park so close, you can combine your walk with some off-leash fun for your dog.

Oxford Trail

Taking a walk along the 1.2-mile section of the  Oxford Trail is a great way for you and your dog to reduce stress and release some nervous energy after a long day at home. The trail runs through wooded areas with plenty of benches to rest and relax. You’ll pass behind the campus of Oxford College and along the beautiful Turkey Creek. A spur trail will take you to the Old Church, where there is a deck with a large canopy to stop for a peaceful break.

Lake Varner

Another one of our pet friendly parks where you can walk your dog on a leash is  Lake Varner. This beautiful park has a short, paved trail along the lake. Additionally, there is a short, primitive trail located across the playground that leads to a granite outcrop. A trip to Lake Varner can be a simple adventure for the kids and a great opportunity to spend outdoors with the entire family.

Yellow River Park

The  Yellow River Trail is a loop that offers a picturesque walk along the Yellow River in Porterdale. The quarter-mile section from the Depot is paved. While this is an easy stroll, you can take your time as you bond with your pet in animal companionship.

Charlie Elliot Wildlife Center

If you are looking for a longer adventure to do with your furry friend, hike along the  Charlie Elliott Wildlife trail. This 4.7-mile, soft-surface, multi-use trail has many shorter nature trails around the visitor center and museum where you can explore. Like the other trails, dogs must be kept on a leash. Pet owners need to also be prepared to share the trail with hikers, mountain bikers, and riders with their horses.

At the time of this writing, parks and wildlife centers mentioned above are open. However, due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, they might not remain open. Please contact the park or wildlife center to verify they are open before heading out.

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