Vet Blog

A Few Summer Hiking Destinations for Dog Lovers

June 02, 2021

The mountains surrounding Ashville are filled with many fantastic dog-friendly hiking trails.

Get ready and grab the leash, a handful of treats, and explore the most scenic and gorgeous views in Western North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with your furry friend.

As the weather gets warmer, follow our favorite dog-friendly hikes near Asheville, NC with your canine hiking buddy.

Spring and Summer Hikes for Dog-Lovers

Here are a few of our favorite spring and summer hikes for dog lovers.

Mount Mitchell

The high-elevation forest at Mount Mitchell offers cooler temperatures, even in the heat of summer. There is a small waterfall near the Old Mitchell Trail Loop summit, which offers a great place for you and your hiking buddy to cool off after a fun day on the mountain.

You and your dog can enjoy incredible 360-degree views, beautiful wildflowers, and sweetly scented balsam-fir forests in the rugged summit. Hike the Mount Mitchell High loop to catch stunning summit views at the highest peak east of the Mississippi River and follow the Old Mitchell trail through rocky forests, sun-drenched fields of wildflowers, and a beautiful waterfall.

Crabtree Falls

Crabtree Falls is one of North Carolina's most beautiful waterfalls, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway north of Asheville. On the trail, there are lots of leafy, towering trees that provide shade for cool summertime adventures. At the base of Crabtree Falls is a small pool that offers a great spot to take a mid-hike dip with your dog. In addition to the beautiful hiking trails and pool, Crabtree Falls has one of the most stunning waterfalls along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Starting with a hike, the trail leads through a beautiful forest that leads to the trail's main attraction, Crabtree Falls. The hike continues as you climb from the falls through a small waterfall and trailing through a valley filled with rhododendron, wildflowers, and grassy creek banks. You can hear the sound of tumbling water echo through the forest as the trail arcs to the southwest. A wooden bridge spans the base of the falls, providing a perfect place to snap a few photos and take in the waterfall's beauty.

Rattlesnake Lodge

Hike to a beautiful lookout view and the ruins of Rattlesnake Lodge, a 1900s summer estate. Following the Mountains to Sea Trail near Asheville, Rattlesnake Lodge offers a beautiful hardwood forest along a narrow, historic road to the remains of an estate from the early 1900s.

Unlike many other trails along the Parkway, this is a quiet, less-traveled route. You and your furry friend can enjoy this hike year-round, but especially in fall when the vibrantly colored leaves appear. The leafy hardwood tree canopy provides plenty of shade, and a stone spring at the ruins of this historic lodge offers a perfect resting spot.

Carrier Park & the French Broad River Greenway

Carrier Park is an off-leash dog park with plenty of places to play in the French Broad River and the wide-open grassy fields. This dog-friendly area is easily accessible from downtown Asheville and has some of the best river views and nearly level terrain.

The French Broad River is one of the city's most treasured venues for recreation, hosting kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboards, and lazy floats on the river. Along its southern run through town, the river's western bank is bordered by a series of scenic parks and a network of trails, all connected by a broad paved path named the French Broad River Greenway.

With the beautiful views of the river through the greenway, this is a great place to go on a jog with your pup.

Avery Creek Pet Hospital

If your dog is new to hiking, it's always best to start small and work up, starting with shorter hikes and gentler terrain. As they get used to hiking, work up to more difficult terrain and longer distances as your hiking buddy becomes more familiar and comfortable with trails. Dogs are curious by nature, and sometimes their curiosity can lead them into things they aren't supposed to on the trail.

Avery Creek Pet Hospital recommends scheduling wellness exams annually or biannually depending on the age of your pests.

Ultimately, your pet's health is important to consider before preparing for an outdoor adventure. Contact us today to schedule preventative care and pet wellness checkup.