Dog Friendly Hiking Trails in North Carolina

If your dog likes to ruff it, bring Fido hiking in North Carolina. Our dog friendly hiking section includes everything from easy one-hour walks to fantastic overnight trips in North Carolina that won’t be soon forgotten. Seriously, go take a hike!

Pet Friendly Chimney Rock State Park
Chimney Rock State Park Chimney Rock State Park is a 1,000 acre scenic attraction located in Hickory Nut Gorge, just 25 miles from Asheville, NC. The park features dog-friendly hiking trails and amazing 75-mile views. Hickory Nut Falls Trail is a beautiful hike to take with your leashed dog at any time of year. The 1.4 mile round trip leads visitors to one of the tallest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. Magnificent views await those who take this gently rolling trail with gradual, moderate uphill sections, rocky terrain, and a small staircase at the base of the falls. The hike should take 45 minutes to an hour. Picnic tables, benches, and resting areas are located at several points along the trail. See Details
Pet Friendly Wright Brothers National Memorial
Wright Brothers National Memorial Bring your leashed pup to the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, NC, and see the site of the first successful airplane flights. While there, you can fly kites, visit the beginning and end locations of the first flight, see the reconstructed 1903 camp buildings, and visit the Wright Brothers National Monument. The area is dog-friendly but Fido must be leashed at all times and is not permitted inside any buildings. See Details
North Carolina Arboretum The North Carolina Arboretum is a 434-acre natural treasure with 65 acres of cultivated gardens and 10 miles of hiking and biking trails adjacent to the Bent Creek Experimental Forest. The Arboretum offers a variety trails rated as Easy, Easy to Moderate, Moderate, and Moderate to Difficult, and dogs are allowed on all of them with you. Dogs are not, however, allowed in any of the buildings and some of the gardens. Parking fee is $16 per vehicle. See Details
Riverwalk Leashed dogs are welcome to stroll along the pet-friendly Riverwalk in historic downtown Wilmington. The Riverwalk runs for nearly two miles along the bank of the Cape Fear River, from the foot of Nun Street on the South to the Isabel Holmes Bridge on the North. Paid parking areas are located along the boardwalk. See Details
Lake Norman State Park Dog-friendly Lake Norman State Park is great place to hike and explore with Fido in Troutman, NC. There are a total of four trails to hike on and three picnic areas throughout the park. Boating, swimming, and fishing are allowed at the state park as well. Dogs are not allowed in swimming areas, but are allowed everywhere else as long as they remained leashed. See Details
Dry Falls Dry Falls is pet-friendly. This popular waterfall located a few miles outside of Highlands, gives you the rare chance to walk safely behind the water flow. This 75-ft. tall waterfall in the Nantahala National Forest flows over a cliff, allowing you to walk behind the falls and stay dry (ish). Dogs are welcome on a leash, as long as they are cleaned up after. See Details
Catawba Falls Trail Please note that the Catawba Falls Trail will be closed from May 2, 2022, until the spring of 2023 for major improvements.

Catawba Falls Trail is a pet-friendly trail in Old Fort, NC. This wonderful trail has multiple bridges and a stream crossing that ends at a beautiful waterfall where both you and your dog can play.
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Pisgah National Forest Pisgah National Forest is pet-friendly. Dogs are allowed on all hiking trails in Pisgah National Forest if they follow the leash law. Known as a land of mile-high peaks, cascading waterfalls, and heavily forested slopes. The forest huge, spanning half a million acres in total. The trails that weave around the area go through hardwood forests and alongside waterfalls. Dog owners are reminded to clean up any mess left behind to preserve the cleanliness of the area. See Details
Bodie Island Light Station Bodie Island Light Station in Nags Head is pet-friendly. Dogs are welcome to join their owners in the grounds of this historic lighthouse. Dogs are not allowed inside anymore, despite the lighthouse once being the stomping ground of a Chesapeake Bay Retriever named Chess who used to climb the tower every day with his owner, the last civilian-era keeper of the lighthouse. See Details
Triple Falls and High Falls Trails Triple Falls and High Falls Trails is a moderately easy, 2.6 mile hike that will take about 1.5 hours to complete with Fido. Although this trail may be short, it will certainly take you past some of the most beautiful areas on the way to the waterfalls. Color is plentiful in spring when the flowers are blooming and fall when the leaves are changing. Please note that dogs must be on a leash and under control of the owner. Hunting allowed by permit on certain days. See Details
McGalliard Falls Park McGalliard Falls Park is a beautiful dog-friendly recreation area in Valdese, NC. Commonly referred to as a hidden treasure, bring Fido to see the 40 ft. high McGalliard Falls and enjoy a hike or picnic along the way. See Details
The Blowing Rock 1/4 mile loop of breathtaking views which was easy to walk. They said we love dogs especially if you scoop. They loved our very big lab. Make sure you're dog is on a short leash because there are cliffs. If you don't like heights take 321 instead of 221 to get there. See Details
Carvers Creek State Park Carvers Creek State Park in Spring Lake, NC, offers almost two miles of easy, pet-friendly trails through meadows and pine forests. The trails will lead to a 100-acre millpond, complete with an observation deck. Fishing is permitted at the millpond, but boats are not allowed. See Details
Mount Mitchell State Park Nestled in the Black Mountains, Mount Mitchell State Park provides nearly 2,000 acres of tranquility and natural beauty for you to enjoy with Fido by your side. At an elevation of 6,684, Mount Mitchell rises above the surrounding landscape and, as the highest point east of the Mississippi, provides stunning, one-of-a-kind views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the summit. You and your pup can enjoy a picnic before setting off on a short stroll or a more extensive hike through the forests of Mount Mitchell. Pets must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times and may never be left unattended. They are not permitted in any park buildings, rental boats, swimming beaches, rinsing stations, changing stations, or cabins. See Details
Craggy Pinnacle Trail Craggy Pinnacle Trail is a moderately easy, 1.4 mile hike on the Blue Ridge Parkway that will take about 1 hour to complete with Fido. Although the Catawba rhododendron blooms in mid to late June are a must see, this trail is great throughout the season for its views of Craggy Pinnacle. Winter conditions can cause the access road to close, so call the parkway's phone number for automated conditions before heading out. Please note that dogs must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet. See Details
Craggy Gardens Wander off the gorgeous Blue Ridge Parkway to enjoy a closer look at the beauty of the area with a stop at Craggy Gardens. Located just north of Asheville, Craggy Gardens provides one of the most stunning viewpoints on the parkway. June and July are the most popular time for visits thanks to the rhododendron thickets teeming throughout the park, but throughout the year there is plenty of natural wonder to enjoy including violets, blackberries, Turkscap lilies, May Apples, along with a variety of birds and other fauna. One of the popular hiking trails, Craggy Pinnacle, winds through a tunnel of rhododendrons and leads the hiker to gorgeous 360-degree views at the summit. This hike is only a 1.5-mile round-trip hike, making it a relatively easy walk for you and your pup. Visitors to Craggy Gardens can also enjoy the Visitors Center where books, souvenirs, and CDs are available for purchase. See Details
Grandfather Mountain Grandfather Mountain is pet-friendly. Whether you prefer a more leisurely stroll along one of the many nature trails through gentle forests and meadows or love hiking in the backcountry, you and Fido will find plenty of beauty to savor as you explore the breathtaking wonder of Grandfather Mountain. Pets must be leashed at all times and are not permitted inside any building or in the Animal Habitats area. Dog owners are reminded to clean up any mess that is left behind. See Details
Falls Lake Trail (Mountains-to-Sea Trail) The Falls Lake Trail, part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, is a dog-friendly hiking trail in Falls Lake State Recreation Area can be easily accessed at the Falls Lake Dam information center, Blue Jay Point County Park, Shinleaf access, the Falls Lake park office, and Rolling View access. Please note that dogs must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet. See Details
Rufus Morgan Falls Trail Rufus Morgan Falls Trail is a moderately easy, 1 mile hike in Nantahala National Forest that will take about 40 minutes to complete with Fido. This little out of the way trail is a lovely spot that has soft ground and several water sources for Fido. Please note that dogs must be on a leash between April 1 and August 15, but must be under control at all times. See Details
Hanging Rock State Park Located in Danbury, NC, Hanging Rock State Park boasts beautiful walking trails for you and Fido. Enjoy sweeping views at the summit or let your dog cool off in one of the many waterfalls. See Details
Oconaluftee River Trail The Oconaluftee River Trail is a dog-friendly trail in Cherokee, NC, and is one of two walking paths on which visitors can walk dogs and bicycle in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This pet-friendly trail is a 1.5 mile one-way. It is relatively flat, but does have a few small hills. The trail runs through the forest along side the Oconaluftee River and offers beautiful views of the river. The Oconaluftee River Trail is frequently used by joggers, walkers, and bicyclists. See Details
Lake Junaluska Walking Trail Dogs are welcome on the two paved walking trails at Lake Junaluska Retreat and Conference Center. Choose between a 2.3-mile loop around the lake or a longer, 3.8-mile trail. All visitors are welcome, not just those staying at the United Methodist retreat near Asheville. See Details
Richland Balsam Nature Loop Trail Richland Balsam Nature Loop Trail is a moderately easy, 1.4 mile hike that will take about 1 hour to complete with Fido. Set out on this trail that is only a few feet short of being the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The elevation makes it a nice, cool hike during the summer. Please note that dogs must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet. See Details
Eno River State Park With nearly 28 miles of trails, Eno River State Park in Durham, NC, provides hours of fun and adventure for you and Fido. Choose from pet-friendly trails that follow the Eno River or that take you deep into the forest. Dogs are allowed on all trails, but must remain leashed. See Details