This vibrant city nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains offers a plethora of outdoor activities. Grab your leash, some treats, and let's dive into what you can do with your dog in the mountains this summer!
Hiking with your pups can be an incredible bonding experience. Ensure your dog is properly fitted with a collar and/or harness. Dog boots can also be useful to protect your dog's paws from rough terrain and hot surfaces. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers stunning views of the Appalachian Mountains and many dog-friendly trails such as Craggy Gardens Trail, Mount Pisgah Trail, and the Graveyard Fields Trail.
Some other options would be:
Bent Creek Experimental Forest: Located just a few minutes from downtown Asheville. Bent Creek offers over 30 miles of hiking trails that range from easy to difficult. Some of the best dog-friendly trails in Bent Creek include Lake Powhatan Loop Trail (easy) and Ingles Field Gap Trail and Hard Times Road Trail (both moderate).
The North Carolina Arboretum: Close to Bent Creek Forest, this beautiful park features several hiking trails and a stunning bonsai collection. Dogs are welcome on the trails but are not allowed in the bonsai collection.
Pisgah National Forest: This vast forest offers over 250 miles of hiking trails and several waterfalls that are dog-friendly.
The Biltmore Estate: America's largest home, offers a unique experience for visitors and their dogs on over 8,000 acres to discover. While your pup won't be allowed inside the mansion, they are welcome to join you as you explore the beautiful grounds and gardens.
Dupont State Park has beautiful, easy-to-moderate trails with well-known waterfalls and easy parking access.
Need to cool off? On the French Broad River, you can rent kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards for you and your dog to enjoy. Always make sure your dog wears a life jacket fitted for them. Alternatively, you can take a leisurely swim with your pup in one of the many swimming holes along the river. Azalea Dog Park and French Broad River Dog Park are two popular off-leash areas where your pup can socialize and play. You can also attend a Dog-Friendly Workshop or Event with the Asheville Humane Society and maybe even add a new member to your family!
Asheville's culinary scene is not only delicious but also dog friendly. Many restaurants in the city welcome well-behaved dogs on their outdoor patios, so you can enjoy a meal with your best friend by your side. Some popular spots include White Duck Taco Shop, Twisted Laurel, Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company at both the downtown and North Asheville location, as well as the best ribs you’ve ever had at 12 Bones Smokehouse. Asheville is known for its thriving craft beer scene, and many breweries in the area welcome dogs on their outdoor patios such as New Belgium Brewing Company, Highland Brewing Company, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, and a personal favorite, Hillman Beer.
Finally, let's talk about shopping because who doesn't love to spoil their pup? WagBar in North Asheville combines an amazing playground for your pup along with an amazing watering hole for pup-parents! From toys to treats to stylish outfits, check out Patton Avenue Pet Company, Smoky Mountain Dog Bakery, and Bone-A-Fide Bakery. With thriving farmer’s market scenes that are pet friendly, the Asheville City Market and the North Asheville Tailgate Market are two popular options that offer a wide selection of fresh produce, baked goods, and local crafts. Some vendors even offer pet-friendly treats for your furry friend to enjoy. If you are in search of clothes, The Asheville Outlets allows canines in most of their stores.
Asheville is such an exciting place to explore with your dog, and the memories you’ll make will last a lifetime. There is no better way to spend your summer than with your four-legged best friend!
If you and your dogs are outdoor lovers looking for a pet-centric retreat, look no further than Barkwells, The Dog Lover’s Vacation Retreat. We have ten cabins between Asheville and Brevard.
We offer everything you and your dogs need to enjoy all the comforts of home, along with access to a wide variety of activities and amenities, including private ponds and acres of fenced-in meadows. At Barkwells, we have plenty of space for your dogs to explore in a safe and secure environment.