Exercise: it does you and your canine companion good. Plus, Fido’s enthusiasm can be contagious. A daily walk is so much more fun when you’re accompanied by a dog that delights in every squirrel, puddle and fire hydrant. But don’t limit yourself to grinding along the same neighborhood loop day in and day out. Once a leafy, rustic summer retreat for wealthy New Orleanians, Mandeville maintains a wealth of campgrounds, parks, trails and beaches. Many are dog-friendly, meaning you and your pup just might make a new friend. Here are six dog-friendly spots to explore on the Northshore.
Pelican Bark Park
Pups can roam free in a one-acre fenced enclosure, or they can trot alongside owners on a quarter-mile paved walking path. Gazebos, water fountains, benches and pools complete the doggie utopia. If your dog needs to run around and burn off energy and socialize with other pups, or if you’re looking to teach it to play nicely with others, Pelican Bark Park is the place to be.
Northlake Nature Center
Hardwood forests, cypress swamps, ponds, trails and board walks —this scenic 52-acre nature center offers humans and canines a chance to explore Louisiana’s biologically diverse ecosystems. Get ready to bird watch in the spring, when many migrating species pass through. The seven miles of trails and boardwalks make for some excellent walks, but be sure to keep Rover on a leash.
Do you think you’ll have to drive to Biloxi to go to the beach? Think again. A lakefront beach opened at the east end of Lakeshore Drive last spring, and though the sand isn’t exactly sugar white, it’s a welcome invitation to wade in Lake Pontchartrain’s cool waters. Dogs can swim, but beware of stingrays, sharks and alligators. The rest of the 1.5-mile linear park offers aid stations, benches, shady trees and long expanses of green grass. It’s the perfect way to unwind while watching sailboats drift along the horizon.
The Lakefront also hosts The Mystic Crewe of Mardi Paws, a Northshore dog parade, every March.
Charming and sun-dappled, lined with quaint boutiques and antique homes, Old Mandeville has a distinctly Mayberry-esque vibe. It’s a great place to get to know your neighbors (and their dogs). Cool off at a dog-friendly establishment like The Beach House on Girod Street: The restaurant, bar and music venue offers a patio where dogs can repose (they’ll even bring a bowl of water for your pooch).
Fountainbleau State Park
This gorgeous state park offers everything you could ask for: campgrounds, roads, trails, a beach and more. Trails are well marked and maintained, but be sure to keep your dog on a leash. Don’t miss the weathered brick sugar mill, built circa 1829 by Mandeville founder Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville. Admission is $3 per person and free for seniors and children under 3. http://www.crt.state.la.us/louisiana-state-parks/parks/fontainebleau-state-park/
Located at the end of Garden Avenue in the quiet, verdant Beau Rivage subdivision, Neighborwoods is described as an Urban Natural Area recreational area, where the environment naturally filters stormwater. The park is open from sunrise to sunset daily, and there are trails for hiking, biking and, of course dog walking.
Now Get Walking!
Walking is the No. 1 exercise recommended to people who want to improve their health. Walking is very easy to do, requires nothing but a pair of tennis shoes, and has tremendous mental and physical benefits. From helping you lose weight and de-stress to lowering your blood pressure and reducing your risk of many chronic diseases—going for regular walks is one of the best and easiest things you can do for your health and your four-legged friend.
This information is intended for entertainment purposes only and not intended as medical advice. It is not intended to diagnose or treat or cure any medical condition, disease, injury or illness. If you feel you have a condition that needs medical care you should seek help from a doctor or hospital.