Summit Splorin: Maximum Borkdrive in the Great Smoky Mountains

“Ohboyohboyohboy! I get the tippy taps just thinking about all there is to do in North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains. Let’s go hikin through wildflowers in the mountains. Doggie paddle at the base of a waterfall. Dig for treasure. (Hoomans will help!) Wanna go for a ride? You definitely will along the Blue Ridge Parkway. When you’re looking for a big adventure with your best hoomans, this is just the spot.”

– Mo, North Carolina’s
dog travel agent

COME & STAY

1 DogWoods Retreat

1 DogWoods Retreat

BrevardSee on mapSee on map

Have you ever gone on vacay to a place with your own 1-acre fenced yard to explore? You can do that here, and when you’re ready to snoozle inside your cabin, you’ll have a doggo bed of your very own. This is just a 10-minute car ride from happy hikes and friendly towns. If your hoomans venture off without you, your new DogWoods frens can give you walkies or treatos until they return.

2 Barkwells

photo: Barkwells

2 Barkwells

Mills RiverSee on mapSee on map

Create off-leash, much-hap memories with your best fren. Picnics in the meadow! Swimming in the pond! Hot dogs (mlem) over a firepit! This entire property is fenced, so your hoomans can’t roam away. Back at your cabin, you’ll have your own fenced yard for one-on-one bonding and games of fetch in a resort designed for just doggos and their people.

PLAAAAAAAYYYYY

3 Rufus Morgan Falls Trail

Instagram: @visitfranklinnc

3 Rufus Morgan Falls Trail

Nantahala National ForestSee on mapSee on map

Wanna go for a walk? This is an easy 1-mile hike perfect for sniffering new smells, and you can see a waterfall and splish splash through streams along the way. (Doggos, please keep your hoomans on leashes.) More energetic doggos, head to the Cat Gap Loop Hike near Brevard. Don’t trust the name – no cattos to chase here – but you will get 5 miles of trail splorin along rivers and streams.

4 Blue Ridge Parkway Drive

Instagram: @bananathepup

4 Blue Ridge Parkway Drive

Tippy tap time! Get ready for your three favorite things – a car ride, a hike and time with your hoomans. As you sniffer all the good smells from the car window, your buddies will see some of the most beautiful vistas in this country. Make a stop (I suggest Devil’s Courthouse, Looking Glass Rock or Graveyard Fields) to share a scenic picnic in a setting you’ll never forget.

5 Nantahala Outdoor Center

Instagram: @thesoullessavenger

5 Nantahala Outdoor Center

You’ve never done doggo adventure like this before! Guide your hoomans along hiking trails or dip your paws in the water while your two-legged frens hang out riverside. This is the biggest outdoor recreation company in the country, and whether you want to have fun at the outpost, go out for a guided adventure or get new gear (doggles?), this is your place.

6 Rolling Thunder River Company

photo: Rolling Thunder River Company

6 Rolling Thunder River Company

Bryson CitySee on mapSee on map

Aqua doggos: Do you a borkin exciting river adventure by jumping in a raft or canoe (make your hooman row)! Rolling Thunder offers several doggo-friendly tours on the Nantahala River. You can choose scenic rainforest routes if your hoomans like to ooh and aah over landscapes, or – if you’re a very brave doggo – take on roiling rapids in a setting unlike anywhere you’ve ever been.

7 Gold City Gem Mine

7 Gold City Gem Mine

FranklinSee on mapSee on map

This is a first: Here you can put your expert sniffer and excellent excavating skills to good use halping your hoomans mine for gems or dig (DIG!) for gold. Even if you don’t strike it rich, your frens can still buy sparkly things in the store. Either way, you’ll surely get a boop on your snoot as thanks.

DOGGOS GOTTA EAT

8 Oskar Blues

8 Oskar Blues

Brevard

After a day of adventures, sit with your hoomans on the outdoor patio of a tasty brewery with a can’t-beat mountain view. Guide them toward the CHUBwagon – you both deserve a burger (hold the bun) after all of your mountain escapades.

9 The Hub & Pisgah Tavern

Instagram: @whit.a.br

9 The Hub & Pisgah Tavern

Pisgah ForestSee on mapSee on map

It’s the local adventure watering hole, right at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest. Whether you’re kicking off your journey or winding down after a day on the trails, rest with your best frens in a spot on the patio. You’ll meet other doggos and their loyal hoomans who are out on grand adventures, too.

10 Motor Co. Grill

10 Motor Co. Grill

FranklinSee on mapSee on map

Ahhh, a mlem-worthy menu! This 1950s-themed Franklin diner serves up burgers, hot dogs and other fine delicacies on a pupper-friendly patio. Practice your best begging face and your hoomans are sure to share. Oh, happy days.

 

Updated September 24, 2019
About the Author
Mo, North Carolina’s dog travel agent

Mo, North Carolina’s dog travel agent

Mo is a rescue floofer from Charlotte. She loves chasin waves, hikin trails, trackin treatos and makin new frens. She’s helping match the goodest doggos with the bestest vacays.

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