Despite the many local outdoor recreational opportunities, dogs must be leashed on Blue Ridge Parkway trails and in most forest and park areas. For off-leash time and socialization with other dogs, dog parks are ideal; however, there are not many of them in the region. The following is a list of official off-leash dog parks in WNC and the Upstate -- facilities that are fenced, maintained, and allow dogs off-leash. If you know of others, feel free to comment so we can update this list.
Note: Any time you visit a dog park, it is a good idea to have water, poop bags, and proof of vaccinations. Be sure your dog is well-socialized and will not be intimidated or cause problems in this environment.
(Photo: Dog Park in Boone, Watauga Humane Society)
Azalea Dog Park
Location: 395 Azalea Road (Not far from the WNC Nature Center. Continue on Azalea Road past all the soccer fields and the dog park will be on the left.)
Facilities: Two fenced areas, one small dogs and a large area for big dogs with a gazebo. Bring your own water. Insider tip: For a nice cool-down after romping at this dog park, exit the park and look for a 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.
French Broad River Dog Park
Location: Adjacent to the French Broad River Park, Amboy Road and Riverview Drive, West Asheville.
Facilities: Large fenced area. No separate area for small dogs. Water is available.
Watauga Humane Society Dog Park
Location: Don Hayes Road, between Rutherwood Baptist Church and the Boone Stockyard, about four miles from Boone off Old Highway 421 South.
Facilities: About 3.5 acres of fenced flat and hilly area. Separate area for small dogs, and another area for dogs with special behavioral problems. Water available. Note: Pre-registration required. Admission by pass only. Annual memberships and day passes available at the Watauga Humane Society. Insider tip: If you are not a Boone resident, you can still use this park for the day (12 hours) for only $3.00.
Canine Corner at Cleveland Park
Location: 126 Woodland Way (Across from the Cleveland Park Animal Hospital and horse stables).
Facilities: Half-acre mulched park. No separate area for small dogs. Water is usually available.
Six Wags Dog Park
Location: 3671 North Highway 14 (4-1/2 miles north of Greer)
Facilities: A private 8-acre facility open to the public. Five fenced play areas based on dogs' sizes; includes a nature trail, creek, and agility equipment. Open 8 AM - 8 PM seven days a week. No appointment needed. Daily admission is $5 for the first dog, $2 for the second dog from the same family. Proof of vaccination required.
Four Paws Kingdom Campground
Location: 335 Lazy Creek Drive, Rutherfordton
Facilities: Private campground catering to dogs. Has numerous fenced off-leash dog parks and other facilities available to campground guests; however, visitors can get day passes to use the facilities ($10 per dog for 3 hours on week days to use all of the dog parks, or $25 per day for up to two dogs to use all dog amenities). Reservations required. Call 828-287-7324 for details.
Waynesville Pepsi Dog Park
Location: Vance Street, off of Howell Mill Road (Below the Waynesville Recreation Center and soccer fields)
Facilities: Two fenced areas, one for small dogs. Bring water.