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North Carolina Arboretum

The North Carolina Arboretum is a 434-acre natural treasure with 65 acres of cultivated gardens and 10 miles of dog-friendly hiking and biking trails adjacent to the Bent Creek Experimental Forest in Asheville, NC. The trails are rated easy to difficult, and leashed dogs are allowed on all of them. Dogs are not, however, allowed in any of the buildings and some of the gardens. An entry fee does apply to visitors. Visit Website

Or call (828) 665-2492 or email info@ncarboretum.org for more information.


BringFido Guest Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

North Carolina Arboretum has received a rating of 4.7 out of 5 bones by 26 canine critics on BringFido and 4.5 out of 5 by 3,078 guests on TripAdvisor.

  • Julie
    May 12, 2024
    Dogs LOVED It!

    Our pups really enjoyed exploring the Arboretum… the many trails and florals were awesome!

  • Jasmine
    Apr 17, 2024
    Smell the flowers

    We went here to get a spring-themed floral photo and it was very nice. Pup loved to smell the flowers
    Costs $20 to park ($1 off with AAA)
    People: not crowded. Guests were very dog friendly and nearly everyone asked before petting including small children which is good if you have a reactive dog or jumpy puppy. Didn’t run into any employees in our trip so we can’t comment on the dog-friendliness.
    Dog policies: on leash at all times. They can explore all outdoor gardens and trails except the Bonsai Garden. Not allowed indoors unless ADA service animal per health department.
    4 bones because:
    - Orchid Festival $5/person but mostly indoors and no dogs allowed inside
    - logistically hard to do this trip solo with a dog because there were no outdoor water fountains that we could find, there was only 1 poop bag station that we could find (maybe there were more along the trails) and all of the restrooms and eateries were indoors with no place to feasibly curb your dog while you ran inside.
    - bring your own water and water bowls for puppy because we couldn’t find outdoor water fountains to fill up our own jugs on a rather hot 90F spring day.

  • B
    Sep 26, 2023

    Great hiking/walking trails around the property!

  • Courtney
    Aug 5, 2023

    The address took us to a locked employee entrance. Which ended up being fine because we drove down and found a trail that led into it. It was hard to figuire out which trail lead in but part of the adventure I guess. We also didn’t pay to park another plus! The gardens were pretty as well as the hike! overall a fun hike !

  • Trisha
    May 6, 2023

    You forgot to mention is $30 for cars to park!

  • Helen
    Jul 27, 2022
    A fantastic day out

    This is a beautiful park with gardens and trails for easy hiking with your dog. My coonhound loved the river trail and forest walks. She didn’t want to leave. The flatter trails worked well for our Basset hound who can’t walk too far. Benches along the trail meant my husband and Lizzie Basset could sit in the shade while I walked our coonhound along the trails. Highly recommended.

  • Michelle
    Sep 29, 2021
    Great place to hike with dogs

    Hiked there today. Trails well maintained. Plenty of places for dog to swim and have picnic lunch.

  • Monica
    Jul 29, 2021

    extremely dog friendly!! trails for everyone - small pups or large pups!!

  • Suzanne
    Mar 15, 2021
    Fun hike for pups

    Our dogs had a blast hiking here. The trails are well maintained and clean. (Just FYI there is a fee to park ($16) and dogs are not allowed inside buildings or in the bonsai area but there were plenty of trails to hike and it was well worth the money.)

  • Shonda
    Oct 8, 2020
    A Great Spot to Hang Outside with Fido

    After searching out a socially-distanced spot to enjoy an afternoon, the arboretum did the trick! Having the dogs with us naturally helped us avoid the more crowded areas. A wonderful spot to picnic and walkabout.

  • Shaana
    Sep 5, 2020
    Great Place For Pups

    We walked 4 miles of trails with our dog with no problem. The trials were easy to walk, amongst the trees for perfect shade. There is one trail which goes along a river, this gives lots of opportunity for your dog to take a paddle to cool off. Will definitely visit again!

  • Sue
    Jun 20, 2020
    Beautiful Trails

    We took our 2 dogs here yesterday, walked 2 of the trails and checked out some of the gardens. We and our dogs totally enjoyed the surroundings!

  • Cheddar bacon cheese
    Mar 15, 2020
    Fun Day In The Arboretum

    Really well maintained trails and beautiful creeks well worth the $16 admission. Did the bent creek trail and took the Carolina mountain trail back. Beautiful!!

  • Kilene
    Nov 24, 2019
    Fun Morning!

    We took our pups here on a nice fall morning and did the Carlolina Montain and Bent Creek Trails. Took about an hour. Had a lot of fun!

  • Laura
    Apr 16, 2019
    Plenty of Dog Visitors But Not Truly Friendly

    Although you can bring your dog, the buildings prohibit pets. Usually I’m fine with that if there is a reason (food served, private establishment and it is owner’s policy, space not conducive, or concerns about damage to property). But the welcome center is a giant modern accessible largely empty box. Nothing to damage, plenty of clearance, not even a place people would loiter. The kicker is that the entry to the gardens is through the welcome center. Since dogs cannot do that you must trek up and down a hill to use alternate entry. There is gate access adjacent to the building but it is padlocked. There’s no reason for access to be restricted in this punitive way. In mid-April we found the gardens only lightly blooming.

  • Mia
    Dec 16, 2018
    Beautiful Even In The Snow

    My family loved this park! Great trails and absolutely stunning in the snow and cold!

  • Lori
    More than a year ago
    Great trails

    Wonderful place to view plants and wildlife with your furry friend! Over 10 miles of trails. They are welcome anywhere except the bonsai Garden and inside the visitor center. Beautiful place! Lots of other dogs around too!

  • Amara
    More than a year ago
    Beautiful long walk

    We had a great time walking through all sorts of paths through the gardens and forest.
    Things to know:
    $14 parking day pass for a normal car
    Only Service dogs inside
    There are deer in the forest.
    Keep an eye out for snakes - mostly near/in the water, but sometimes on the forest paths (wasn’t an issue, just be aware)

  • Laura
    Aug 13, 2018
    Perfect Hiking with Pups

    Very well maintained grounds with great hiking trails for pups! We had a 2 year old Goldendoodle who had a blast running in and out of the streams and a 6 month old hound puppy who really enjoyed his first hiking experience.

  • Whitney
    More than a year ago

    Our pups had such a great time! We did the bent creek trail which was about 3,5 miles and took us about

  • Bridget
    Jan 7, 2018
    Great Day Hikes

    Beautiful venue for day hiking with 3 dogs... very dog friendly! No parking fee during Christmas week.

  • Katie
    More than a year ago
    Perfect place for pups and people

    We love taking our dogs to the NC Arboretum! We have one senior dog, a middle aged hound and a 2 year old Yorkie. All three love the easy hiking trails and playing in the streams. The trailers are 100% dog friendly (dogs must be leashed) and the trails are rarely crowded.
    It's a beautiful area full of gorgeous local flora. Inexpensive as well ($14 I think for the whole car).

  • Emily
    More than a year ago
    Totally Worth It

    Absolutely beautiful surroundings and tons of places to walk around. We did the hike from the greenhouse to lake Powhatan and it was awesome. My dogs enjoyed playing in the river and seeing all the sights. Look forward to going back

  • Noel
    More than a year ago

    This is really worth seeing, we go back every time we visit. There are natural areas as well as formal designs. The employees always have a dog biscuit ready when you arrive.

  • Dori
    More than a year ago
    Shaded trails, pretty stream

    We visited in the summertime with our small dog. The trails were a variety of dirt paths and gravel roads. The wooded area offered good shade, and some of the trails run alongside a stream where your dog can take a drink or cool off in the water. We were told at the gate that dogs can go everywhere except in the buildings. There are no water dishes here, so bring your own.

  • Nancy
    More than a year ago

    I Can not say enough good about it. Gardens are beautiful, trails are well taken care off. Cafe was excellent. We had our two Whippets with us and they were able to go everywhere but in the buildings. Highly recommend it.

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North Carolina Arboretum