Asheville North Carolina has been called one of the most pet friendly cities in the United States. “Dog city” has pooches by the thousands, and they can enjoy themselves on one of the area’s many dog friendly hikes.
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- Length: 2.7 Miles
The Catawba Falls hike takes you along Catawba River, giving your pup plenty of opportunities to get its little paws wet. There’s a swimming hole, lots of wildlife, and you can stay cool in the shade of the forest.
- Length: 2.7 Miles
The pools at the foot of Crabtree Falls will help your pooch cool off after a long summer hike. There are also a lot of trees shading the trail, making for an enjoyable and relatively cool trek, even in the blistering summer sunshine.
Crabtree Falls is one of the best waterfalls around and the trail has a little something for you and your pup, including great views, beautiful flowers and trees, and the aforementioned waterfalls.
- Length: 3.8 Miles
Rattlesnake Lodge is one of the best dog friendly hikes in Asheville, and at less than 4 miles without too many steep inclines or troublesome spots, it’s one that everyone can enjoy. The trail is perfect for some spring or summer strolls, but it really comes to life in the fall, when all those vibrant green leaves turn golden.
You’ll pass the old Rattlesnake Lodge estate and if you’re there in the summer you’ll be shaded by a canopy of trees.
- Length: 1 Mile
A simple dog friendly hiking trail on the Northside of Asheville. It spans just 1 mile of terrain and there is a 70-foot waterfall at the end. If you just want a short summer walk where your dog can enjoy a cooling swim, this is perfect.
Mount Mitchell Trails
- Length: 1 to 4 Miles
There are a few different dog friendly trails around Mount Mitchell. By combining these, you can stretch a short stroll into a long trek.
The elevation is high and this helps to keep the air cool, even in the summer. If you head for the Old Mitchell Trail loop and make it all of the way to the summit, you can cool off further in a little waterfall.
On your journey, you’ll encounter scores of wildflowers and fir trees, with breathtaking views every step of the way.
- Length: Varies
There are a few different dog friendly hikes at Turkey Pen. The Vineyard trail is one of the most sparsely occupied but the Turkey Pen Gap trail is probably the best, taking you alongside a river.
Horseback riding is very popular here, so be wary if you have a skittish dog that gets overly excited around larger animals. The trails are wide enough for you to pass, but they are small enough for an excited dog to panic a worried horse.
Bridal Veil Falls
- Length: 4.6 miles
Let your dog cool off in the refreshing waters of Lake Julia, a mid-hike stop on this 4+ mile trail. Located at DuPont State Forest, Bridal Veil Falls takes you through some of the most picturesque parts of the park, a bucolic adventure for man and beast.
Mountains to Sea Trail
- Length: 5.5 Miles
The Mountains to Sea Trail takes you from Devil’s Courthouse to Black Balsam Knob, with lots of spectacular views on the way. At 5 and a half miles, it’s quite a trek, so make sure you take plenty of water, snacks, and dog treats.
The trail includes a hike through a high-elevation forest, a surprisingly cool walk even in the summer. With lots of flowers to sniff and land to cover, it serves as the perfect summertime adventure for your pooch.
Pink Beds Hiking Trail
- Length: 3.4 to 5.1 Miles
Located in the Pisgah National Forest, the Pink Beds Hiking Trail is a short distance from Blue Ridge Parkway and you can choose between a 3.4 or 5.1 loop. It’s a shaded trail, so it’s perfect for summer hikes. The Pisgah National Forest also has some picnic areas, so take the kids and make a day of it!
It can be a little crowded here in the summer and spring, but it’s not too bad. If you want the trail to yourself, plan a visit in winter when it’s more or less empty.
Carrier Park and the French Broad River Greenway
- Length: 1 Mile
This looped trail leads you along a paved greenway, with river views on the way. It’s popular with runners and dog walkers and if you want to extend the walk, you can just keep looping around!
There is an off-leash dog park on the way and it’s one of the few outside areas in the city where you can let your dog off the leash.
Other Dog Friendly Hikes in Asheville, North Carolina
There are lots of other dog friendly hikes in Asheville, including Triple Falls, where parts of The Hunger Games was filmed. It’s packed with other hikers, runners, and dog walkers in the summer and fall, but if you’re looking for a long and scenic walk in the Asheville area, it’s perfect.
School House Falls is another popular trail. It’s short, easy, and offers awesome views, so it’s a good option for beginner hikers, as well as dogs/humans with lower fitness levels.
If you want to avoid waterfalls, check our Flat Laurel Creek or Black Balsam instead.
If you’re an avid hiker or adventurous dog walker, head for Max Patch. It’s a little out of the way, but it’s short and once you make it to the top you can enjoy some wide-open spaces and awesome views. You’ll find Max Patch on pretty much every list of the best hiking trails in Asheville, and it’s easy to see why.
In addition to all of these hiking spots and parks, Asheville North Carolina has some dog friendly restaurants and hotels, as well as plenty of pet shops, events, and festivals where man’s best friend is the star of the show.