Looking for some great places to take your dog for an adventure? Whether you’re into hitting the trails or swimming in the creeks, we’ve got the beta on a few of our favorite dog friendly adventures in Boone.
Trail Tip: Leash laws vary, but all Parkway trails and many other paths require that dogs be on leash.
Watauga Humane Society Dog Park (Boone): It’s a fact of life—most parks require that dogs be leashed. But the Watauga Humane Society’s Dog Park is the perfect place to let your dog run. This scenic three-and-a-half acre fenced meadow includes an airy hilltop where Fido can feel all the freedom of a cool breezy romp in the mountains. The park is open from 6 am to sundown with a $3 fee for single-day use. Be sure to bring proof of rabies vaccination or the current rabies collar tag that all dogs must wear in the park.
Directions from Boone: From the US 321-221/NC 105 junction, drive 0.8 mile on NC 105 Extension and to right turn at the T-junction traffic light onto US 421 S. Go 3.7 miles and turn right onto Old US 421. Turn right again in 0.5 mile on Don Hayes Rd., drive a very short distance, and enter on the right just past the church.
Green Knob Trail (Blowing Rock): This little traveled 2.1-mile loop winds from a pond and stream to high meadows with great views. The variety of terrain on this trail has everything from lakeshore swim potential (starting or ending), a nice stream for drinks half way to the top, and then wide open meadows with great views of Grandfather Mountain. Be aware, there’s thistle in the fields.
Directions from Boone: From the US 321-221/NC 105 junction, take US 321 N 5.8 miles to right on to Parkway. Go south 4.1 miles to Sims Pond Overlook (MP 295.9). Head off across the pond’s dam to start. Near the end, you’ll reach the Parkway where you’ll cross the road and walk left back to the overlook.
Chestoa View Loop Trail (Linville Falls): The scenic cataract of Linville Falls is a major Boone-area draw, so the nearby Chestoa View Loop Trail is a great place to relax with your pet on a less-popular path. Don’t miss the stone steps down to a dramatic cliff-top perch (mesh fencing prevents approaching too closely). The real appeal here is a very quiet, nearly-mile-long loop that circles a lofty, flat summit high above surrounding valleys. The loop leads right from the path down to the viewpoint.
Directions from Boone: From the US 321-221/NC 105 junction, take US 321 N 5.8 miles to right on to Parkway. Turn left on the Parkway and drive 29 miles south to Chestoa (MP 320.8).
Hike to Tompkins Knob (Deep Gap): For some solitude, we like to start this hike from the end of the Cascades Overlook. Take the scenic trail that starts amid picnic tables just past the restrooms. After a half mile, you’ll emerge at Cool Spring Baptist Church, a log shelter from the circuit-riding days. Wander down the big meadow to Jesse Brown Cabin and a small springhouse near the woods. Tompkins Knob Overlook is just beyond (starting there is an option too). Either way, the round trip is about 1.2 miles.
Directions from Boone: From the US 321-221/NC 105 junction, drive 0.8 mile on NC 105 Ext. to right turn at the T-junction traffic light onto US 421 S. Take US 421 10.2 miles to right onto Blue Ridge Parkway. Turn left on the Parkway, head north four miles to the Tompkins Knob Overlook (MP 272.5) and the Cascades Overlook (MP 271.9).
Boone Greenway Trails (Boone): A beautiful paved walk meandering several miles along the New River, crossing a covered bridge, and several other stone and wooden bridges. Landscaped, with flowers, birds, butterflies, picnic tables and lovely park benches for resting. The Greenway Trail is open year-round, free of charge, located off State Farm Road in Boone, or can be accessed at the Watauga Parks & Recreation Center.
Directions from Boone: Turn left at the 1st cross street onto E King St. Turn right onto US-221 S/Hwy 105. Turn left onto State Farm Rd. Turn left onto Hunting Ln. Turn left onto Complex Dr.Destination will be on the left.
Moses Cone Trails (Blowing Rock): With over 25 miles of carriage roads weaving around an expansive area, the Moses Cone Manor is a prime destination for runners who want to cover a lot of ground. From the Manor House, runners can opt to go through a tunnel beneath the Parkway and make a long, steady 2 mile climb through deciduous forests and green fields to the top of the mountain where a four-story fire tower and 360 degree views await.
Directions from Boone: Take Hwy 321 S for 6.4 miles to right onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. Head south (left turn) for approx. 2 miles. Moses Cone Memorial Park is at milepost 294.
App State Walking Loop (Boone): This loop will take you through the heart of downtown Boone and the campus of Appalachian State University. Downtown on King Street most shops, restaurants and stores are dog-friendly and will have water for your four-legged friend if needed. After leaving the downtown area, the loop will take you down River Street through the heart of campus. There is a great park at the end of River Street by the Convocation Center. On warm days, people will be relaxing on blankets or in hammocks. Stop, rest and let your dog play in the creek. We recommend starting by grabbing food and drinks at the Earth Fare and checking to make sure it’s okay to leave a car for a few minutes while out on the walk.
Directions from Boone: Earth Fare is located on King Street in downtown.