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CANINE CRUISIN': Montreat, NC

Montreat memorial garden Montreat is a tiny, secluded town north of Black Mountain that is home to Montreat College and the Montreat Conference Center, which is surrounded by 2,500 acres of unspoiled wilderness. Montreat is a dog lover's paradise because it is an ideal destination for either a casual walk or a serious hike. There are numerous trails, many of which run alongside rushing creeks, set amidst dense trees in the mountains. If you're looking for a spot that gets you close to nature and elevates your spirits, Montreat is it.

While Montreat is typically a spring and summer destination, it is less crowded in the fall and winter. It is cool year-round, so dress appropriately.

For an easy, flat trail that runs alongside a creek, go through the Montreat stone gate and enter the gravel parking lot immediately on your right. There you'll find a memorial garden and a good walking trail that's shaded and cool and has plenty of opportunities for your dog to go into the rushing water of the creek.

Montreat092709 028 For more vigorous hiking, go all the way up Assembly Drive until it becomes Grayhead Trail. Continue to the end until you reach the Trailhead. There are a number of trails there that lead through the forests, some more challenging than others.

You can find a link to a trail map and detailed trail descriptions on the Montreat Conference Center's website at: http://www.montreat.org/programs/wilderness. For more information about Montreat, visit the CANINE CRUISIN' page.

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