*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Dexas. I only work with companies I truly believe in and all of the opinions in this post are my own.
Georgia State Park Hopping with Dexas
If you’ve been following our adventures for a while, you know that we travel a LOT! Road trips, hiking, camping… the mutts and I are always on the search for the next adventure. Traveling with dogs means more fun, more giggles, and more stuff. Over our years of traveling together, I’ve tried a lot of products for my dogs. A lot of them come and go or get replaced by something better, but these are here to stay. I started using Dexas bowls almost 4 years ago now. In fact, I still have (and use) the original bowl that my husband bought a long time ago at a state park when we accidentally left our fold up pocket bowl at home. That was it, we never looked back.
Dexas just sponsored an awesome 4 day camping adventure for us and we can’t wait to tell you all about it! We camped and hiked our way around northern GA. Read on to follow along on our adventure!
Park #1: Sweetwater Creek State Park
Our first destination was Sweetwater Creek State Park. We got to the park, which is right outside of Atlanta, on Thursday afternoon, only to find out that I actually booked a site for the wrong days. HAHA! At the time, it seemed like a bad omen, but in the end it really worked out for the best. They did have one campsite left for that night, so we grabbed it and set up camp. We’d just have to move on the next day and find somewhere else to stay for the rest of our trip. When you travel a lot, you learn to go with the flow. It’s all part of the adventure! (at least that’s what I tell myself so I don’t cry on trips!) 🙂
Setting Up Camp
I’ve developed a pretty good system for setting up camp solo with the pups that allows me to set up uninterrupted. The first thing I do is fill up a large Dexas collaspible bowl with water for them. Then I set out their sleeping bags to give them a place to settle, and the last part is their favorite. Next comes the high value, long lasting treats. I usually use bully sticks, pig ears, etc. This time it was hooves. As you can see in the picture above, the dogs stayed put well longer than it took me to set up camp!
Once we were all set up, we really started to feel the heat. We were lucky that the temps were pretty decent, considering it was early August. It was in the 80s but SUPER humid, so we set off on the Red Trail in search of a cool down spot. Sweetwater Creek did NOT disappoint!
The Mill Ruins
Right along the creek at the end of the trail are these gorgeous ruins, which are what remains of the Manchester Manufacturing Company. They are usually open to the public, where you can wander around and explore. During our trip, they were being renovated for safety reasons, but we will definitely be back again once the restoration is complete in a few months.
If you’re a Hunger Games fan, you may recognize this mill. They filmed part of Mockingjay here!
It was a bit disappointing that we couldn’t explore the old mill, but the creek is worth a trip to this park in itself. The rocky creek is a great swimming spot for dogs and humans alike, with it’s large flat rocks and numerous perfect swimming pools. During the day, there are people, pups and families sprawled out all over the creek, enjoying a break from the heat.
Our favorite time to visit was early in the morning or in the evenings, when you have the whole place to yourself and hear nothing but the soothing sounds of the rushing water all around you as you sit in your own personal spa.
Park #2: F.D. Roosevelt State Park
We rose bright and early on day 2 and went back to the creek to tale a dip to cool off. Then, we did some rock hopping and exploring along the creek and hit some more the the park’s 12 miles of trails. We had to pack up and leave by 11, so I broke down camp and loaded up the car in search of a campsite for night 2. We were headed towards a free campground about 2 hours south when I passed a sign for a state park I had never heard of. So, I pulled off the road and did some googling to see if it was worth checking out. It looked AMAZING, so I called and guess what?? They had campsites available!!!! Score!
The Perfect Campsite
And not just any campsites, SWEET campsites!
F .D. Roosevelt State Park was amazing. The staff at the office was super friendly and they even allow dogs to come inside the building, which is practically unheard of in our area. We were directed towards the tent camping sites and found a primo spot right on the water. Time to throw up a tent to save this sweet spot. I popped up the Dexas Double Elevated Feeder for the pups and we all had some lunch before hitting the trails.
Our first destination was Dowdells Knob, which was a favorite picnic spot of President Roosevelt’s. He actually built his “Little White House” in nearby Warm Springs, which is where he died in 1945. Roosevelt owned most of the land that is now F.D.Roosevelt State park and would come here often to admire the view and dine in nature. He even had a barbecue built right near the ledge that’s still there to this day (filled in to preserve it). You can see a section of the BBQ to the right of the photo above.
From Dowdell’s Knob, you can access the PMT, or Pine Mountain Trail. The gorgeous trail is 23 miles long and follows the Pine Mountain ridge in west central Georgia. The pups were happy that I brought the Dexas Snack-Duo, so they had plenty of water and treats along the way. We only ended up hiking about 2 miles of the trail before Ringo started limping a bit. He had broken one of his toe nails clean off about a week earlier and while it didn’t bother him to walk on dirt or fairly level surfaces, this trail has a bit too much loose rock for him to handle, so, time for Plan B!
We headed back to camp for a bit and the pups started to get restless, so I decided to take a drive on the Pine Mountain and Callaway Gardens Loop, a scenic drive near the park. The drive was full of gorgeous views and spectacular overlooks. We found a quiet place to pull off, loaded up in the back of the truck, and settled in for a relaxing siesta.
Sleeping bags, pillows, a water cooler, treats, and our double collapsible Dexas bowl.. what more could you need? Besides dog snuggles and a view, of course!
After our drive, we went back to camp to relax by the lake. Boomer hunted for frogs and we all ate some dinner by the water. Then, as the sun set, one of our super friendly camp neighbors invited us over to their site to hang by the fire. We talked about dogs and cats and hiking and adventures and had a great time, while the dogs slept by the fire. We had big plans the next day to hit a third state park so we wandered back to our site for some shut eye. The dogs were nice and exhausted and practically begged for me to open the tent as soon as we got back.
Park #3: Providence Canyon Outdoor Recreation Area
Our next and final park that we wanted to visit on our Georgia Park Hopping trip was Providence Canyon Outdoor Recreation Area, otherwise known as Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon. Sounds cool right? Well, it was AWESOME!
If you read our last blog post, When a Hiking Trip Turns into a Cat Rescue, you know about the drama with the dumped cats and the.. umm.. “mean” park ranger. But you didn’t hear about the awesome hiking here. Before I found the cats, we did a whole lot of exploring in this beautiful canyon. The canyon, and therefor the canyon floor, is soft, delicate sand and clay, which is how the canyon was created in the first place. Bad farming practices led to LOTS of erosion, and the canyon you see today. One of the perks of the soft sands is that the canyon floor is nice and soft, perfect for Ringo and his sensitive paw.
I could go on and on about the beauty of this place, but I’d rather let the pictures do the talking. So here goes…
The dogs and I had a great time exploring the canyon, but man was it HOT! Thankfully, we had our Dexas collapsible travel cup and LOTS of water to keep the pups hydrated.
After trekking through this wet, sandy, muddy canyon, the dogs (and I) were SUPER muddy. Bright red clay is good like that. Just what you want in your tent right? Dirty, muddy dogs. Dexas MudBuster to the rescue!
Canyon Cat Rescue
The rest of our trip got a bit crazy to say the least, as many of our trips do. But this time, it had a super happy ending! We came home with 2 more sweet, loving pets. They will forever be the best unexpected mementos we could wish for from this amazing trip. Thanks Dexas for making this trip possible, and by extension, this happy ending for Luna and Gypsy. Miss our last post? Check it out here for the deets!
We can’t WAIT to get back to Georgia and do some more exploring. With our Dexas gear, of course! Hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures!
Thanks for reading,
Debbie & The Mutts
(and the panther sisters too)