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Basset Hound sitting on Hiking trail to max patch surrounded by ferns.

10 Best Hikes For Dogs in Asheville

As an avid hiker who loves to bring our dogs along for an adventure, we thought we would make a list of the best possible hike in the Asheville area for dogs. So what are the best hikes for dogs in Asheville?

1) Max Patch 

High mountain bald with 360-degree views of untouched mountain tops. Max Patch is an easy #1 for any local hiking list. Why we love it for dogs? The trail is short, and once you are on top, it is wide open. Once on top, you will be on the Appalachian Trail. The only downside is that it is a bit of a drive. Directions

2) Black Balsam

Another high mountain bald in Western North Carolina. Why we love it for dogs? Black Balsam is wide open and located at the end of the Art Loeb Trail. Easy access from the Blue Ridge Parkway and a short hike to the top. Once at the top, you can hang out and explore or hike to the next bald Sam Knob, which will be insight from the top of Black Balsam. While you’re at it, you may also want to explore Tennent Mountain, which is on the same trail. Make sure to bring some water if you intend to hike all three. Directions

3) Flat Laurel Creek 

This trail is extraordinary if it is hot out and you want to take a fantastic hike along a river with no danger of waterfalls this would be our pick. If you just finished Black Balsam, head to the end of the parking area and pick up this trail. If you want to hike the full trail and you do, start on Lake Logan Road off the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

Picture of the trail at Flat Laurel Creek

4) School House Falls

Why we like this trail for dogs? Safe first waterfall for dogs, you will arrive at the bottom of the falls to a large swimming hole. School House Falls is one of the few falls that you can easily get behind the waterfalls. Located in Panthertown Valley, this is a great starter hike with plenty of connecting hikes available off the same trail. Panther Town is also home to Cold Mountain, yes, the one in the movie. Directions

View from the banks of Schoolhouse falls in Panthertown Valley, this is one of best hikes for dogs

5) Pink Beds

This is a flat easy high mountain hike in Pisgah Nation Forest. This is a great starter trail with two different loops. There are a variety of different environments and scenery to keep things interesting for everyone. Check out our Pink Beds Guide. For Directions here

6) Douglas Falls

In a section of Pisgah National Forest known as Big Ivy, this on the Northside of Asheville. This is an easy hike to a 70-foot waterfall and is entirely dog friendly. Douglas Falls is a 1-mile round trip hike and a good stretch your legs hike to a stunning waterfall. Directions

7) Triple Falls

Why we love it for hiking with dogs? Wide trails and epic waterfall views without getting too close to the action? This is the spot for you and your dog, located in Dupont State Forest! Triple Falls and Bridalveil Falls is also where the hunger games were filmed. There are plenty of safe areas to enter the water to let your dog get a drink. As I mentioned above, the trails here are much wider than average, so it may be an excellent hike for reactive dogs. In peak leaf season, I would avoid this area as it will be packed. Directions

Dog hiking at the Pink Beds with owner

8) Turkey Pen

Another excellent hike for dogs. Why we love it for hiking with dogs? There are a few trails at Turkey Pen Trailhead. If you have a reactive dog and want to avoid people, take the Vineyard trail and enjoy a hike along a ridge. All others take Turkey Pen Gap Trail, which will lead you straight to the South Fork of the Mills River. Turkey Pen Gap Trail is a great hike along a shallow river, you may encounter horses, but you will be on a broad trail with plenty of room. Directions

Staring: LeRoy the hiking German Shepard

Picture of Leroy the solid black German Shepard in his staring role for Best Hikes for Dogs

Featuring: Strider the hiking Chesapeake Bay Retriever 

Staring: Jenkins The Hiking Basset Hound

Basset Hound sitting on Hiking trail to max patch surrounded by ferns.