Moving to Western North Carolina we were very excited about all the great outdoor activities. We were even more excited because the area was known for being exceptionally dog-friendly. Since our inn has two dog-friendly rooms, we wanted to share some of our favorite dog-friendly discoveries with others who may be visiting the area with their four-legged friend(s).
Walk Around Lake Junaluska
One of our area’s dog-friendly gems is the path around Lake Junaluska. The main walking path is just over 2 miles around. With little to no vertical rise, it is a great route for exercising dogs of most ages and sizes. In addition to the gorgeous mountain views, Lake Junaluska is also a year-round home of various waterfowl. This includes an array of geese and ducks, as well as the iconic swans. Be sure to hold onto your dog’s leash when you get to the waterfowl feeding areas as the geese and ducks may wander onto the walking path. There are dog watering bowls on the south side of the trail next to the bridge, which can help quench your dog’s thirst after your walk.
Grab a Beer
With several great dog-friendly tap rooms in Waynesville and Maggie Valley, there is always a place to take a break. In addition to having interesting and unique beer choices, Frog Level Brewing has a wonderful outdoor area next to Richland Creek that is cool, relaxing, and covered with trees. Boojum Brewing Company, located in downtown Waynesville, has a very nice outdoor patio area that is dog-friendly. BearWaters Brewing Company in Canton (and now with a second location in Maggie Valley) has delightful outdoor spaces next to the river to spread out and relax with your dog while enjoying a delicious beer.
Take a Hike
With all the mountain trails in the area, there is no shortage of places for you and your dog to enjoy a hike. All along the Blue Ridge Parkway there are intersecting trailheads that allow you and your pooch to hop on and off the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. If you are looking for a longer hike, Graveyard Fields and Devil’s Courthouse are just a short drive from Waynesville and offer an array of trails for almost every skill level. All dogs must be on a leash less than 6 feet long, and you are expected to clean up any pet waste. Note that dogs are NOT allowed on the trails in Smoky Mountain National Park.
Get Off-Leash at the Dog Park
If your dog just needs to run, the Pepsi Dog Park in Waynesville provides a space to let them do exactly that. With a big dog park (for dogs 25 lbs plus) and a small dog park (for little dogs under 25 lbs), your pooch can race around and burn off some energy. This park is usually pretty quiet, so this is a great place to take a little break from the leash. It is also next to a little river walk area, so you can also get back on leash and enjoy the path.
Shop the Smoky Mountain Dog Bakery
Located in Downtown Waynesville, this pet-friendly dog bakery has an assortment of toys and treats. Right away upon entering, you see the amazing bakery shop cases full of decorated dog cookies. With fun shapes and designs, you are sure to find treats that you will love almost as much as your dog does. You can even bring your pet into the store so they can pick out their own favorite!