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POOCH PATHS: Azalea Dog Park, Asheville, NC

112109 030 Azalea Dog Park in Asheville is a great place for your dogs to work off their energy. It features two fenced-in areas, one for smaller dogs and one for larger dogs, separated by a gate, although small and big dogs can use either area, as long as they are well-behaved.

The big dog portion is quite a large area, with plenty of room for running and playing. It has a gazebo in the center -- useful to get out of the sun, since the trees that have been planted are not yet full-grown. On the downside, there is a ravine in this area that quickly fills up with water when it snows or rains, so be prepared for a muddy experience if you go soon after wet weather.

Poop bags are generally available, but you will need to bring your own water. The dog park adjoins a pond and a small grassy area with a few picnic tables, and there are a few hiking trails close by as well.

Insider tip: One of the good things about the location of the park is its proximity to the Swannanoa River. For a nice cool-down after romping at this dog park, exit the park and look for a gated pull-in near a dumpster, immediately on your left. Down a short path is a shallow river bed and gentle rapids where doggies love to splash.

Location: Use Exit 8 off of Route 240 and follow signs for the WNC Nature Center. The park is at 395 Azalea Road, a few miles past the WNC Nature Center. Continue on Azalea Road past all the soccer fields and the dog park will be on the left.

Comments

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I just left the azalea dog park and since no one was in the small dog park we went in the big dog park. My 14 pound dogs loved it and played with all the dogs big and small. A girl came in with a pit bull and that dog went right to my small dog and had her by the neck. The girl, twenty something yelled at me that we shouldn't be in the big dog park. I told her that agressive dogs are not allowed in either park. This person and her friend kept yelling at me but the other "grown ups" in the park told her to leave because they were worried about their dogs.

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