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June 14, 2022, 12:54 p.m.

Pet-Friendly Adventures in the Mountains


Human travelers aren’t the only ones who love exploring the lush forests and charming towns of the Blue Ridge — canine visitors of all shapes and sizes love it here too! With so many outdoor adventures, plus welcoming patios and comfy places to stay overnight, the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina are the perfect destination for a pet-friendly getaway.

When you visit, remember to practice good “pet-iquette” by picking up after your pet and following all local regulations. Dogs are required to be on a leash (typically 6-feet or shorter) in all of the area towns and the recreation areas of Pisgah National Forest, Lake James State Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Blue ridge hiker at rest.jpg

Four-legged outdoor adventures

Dogs make excellent hiking partners on any of the popular trails in the area. Wind among the rushing waters and forest foliage of the Newberry Creek Trail, or go on a hunt for the multi-level Setrock Creek Falls.

Pack a picnic — including a snack for Fido — to enjoy after hiking to Crabtree Falls, and wrap up the evening with a leisurely stroll along the Joseph McDowell Historical Catawba Greenway.

Check out our complete guide to area hiking and waterfall trails here.


Pet-friendly patios for dining or drinks

Most restaurants, cafes and breweries that offer outdoor or patio seating are happy to welcome your well-behaved dog.

Stop by Hillman Beer’s creekside deck or Mica Town Brewing’s Marion patio for a beer and a pretzel after a long day of hiking. Mica Town’s Nebo location and Fonta Flora Brewery’s nearby Whippoorwill Farm are great spots for an afternoon brew or to relax after a day at Lake James.

Other pet-friendly stops along our High Spirits Trail include South Creek Winery and Keeper’s Cut Meadery. Check the calendar for live music performances in summer.

At supper time, enjoy a tasty meal on the pet-friendly patio of McDowell Local, Crabby Abby’s or Toonez Chophouse. Check out our Blue Ridge dining guide for more great places to eat, and be sure to call ahead to ask if it’s OK to bring your pet.

Dogs in downtown Marion

Where to stay with your pet

After a long day of adventure, curl up and recharge at one of many comfortable, pet-friendly accommodations. Many national brand hotels will welcome pets for an additional fee. Most local campgrounds and RV parks allow pets. You can also search for a pet-friendly vacation rental with lots of space to run!

Check out all of our lodging options here to begin planning your vacation.