Best Dog-Friendly Hikes in the High Country

dog friendly hikes nc

The dog days of summer are ending, but this season is the perfect time to take a trip to the High Country with your pup. The weather is cool, the leaves are changing, and we have plenty dog-friendly hikes no matter your experience level. Here are some of our favorites.

Green Knob Trail

Blowing Rock, NC
Looking for a secluded swim for your pup? Green Knob Trail in Blowing Rock has some spots along the 2.1-mile loop for a quick swim or a drink, and ends in a scenic wide open area overlooking Grandfather Mountain. The trail is less traveled due to thick thistle in the meadow, but that’s what makes it so worthwhile.

Rhododenron Trail

Rhododendron Trail

West Jefferson, NC
If this isn’t you or your dog’s first hike and you both are up for a challenge, Rhododendron Trail is perfect for the hiking veteran. It’s only one mile long, but categorized as strenuous because of the rough terrain. Although June is when the rhododendrons are in bloom, don’t let that limit you. The trail provides scenic views all year round.

Boone Greenway Trail

Boone Greenway Trail

Boone, NC
Boone Greenway Trail is paved and flat, so it’s ideal for any kind of hike whether it be a leisurely stroll with the family, a bike ride (if your pup can keep up), or a run. There are several picnic tables along the way so you can stop and rest. Lots of diverse wildlife can be seen along this trail, so consider this your fair warning if your dog is an avid squirrel chaser.

Watauga Humane Society Dog Park

Watauga Humane Society Dog Park

Since most of these trails require dogs to be leashed, we’ve included the Watauga Humane Society Dog Park in Boone. For just $3, the three and a half acre fenced area is your dog’s for the day for off-leash running and playing with other local dogs. Just make sure to bring his rabies tag required for entrance.

When you’re finished with a long day of hiking and are ready to relax, the downtown areas of Boone and Blowing Rock are mostly dog-friendly too. Just look for the water bowls outside of local spots.

If you’re bringing your dog with you on any High Country hikes, send your photos to us on Facebook! Like anyone, we love a good dog photo, and we’ll feature our favorites.