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Mountain City, a small town named for its spectacular hillside views and the surrounding environment. It’s located within Rabun County in Georgia and sits on the Eastern Continental Divide, right at the Blue Ridge Mountain front. The seclusion of this city is pawfect for pet parents that like quiet places. Plus, it is surrounded by pristine nature, just waiting for fresh paws to explore! There is also a vet office in town, so you can feel comfortable knowing a veterinary professional is nearby in case of an emergency.
Mountain City is popular with tourists as well, thanks to the Black Rock Mountain State Park, which is nestled in the foothills of the nearby mountains. Here, you’ll find a bunch of hiking and walking trails ranging from moderate to easy. The Black Rock Lake Trail gives remarkable views of the 17-acre lake, and it’s pawfect for four-legged adventurers! For a more challenging option, try the Tennessee Rock Trail.
US Highway 441-S runs straight through Mountain City, making it a breeze to get to from the surrounding towns. The entire place seems to mimic a large community park, thanks to the abundance of green spaces and the beautiful Stekoa Creek running through it! You and Fido will fall head over paws for Mountain City!
As with all Georgia state parks, pets are allowed at Moccasin Creek State Park as long as they stay on a leash no longer than 6 feet throughout their visit. The park sits on the edge of the Moccasin Creek, just before it spills out to the Cove and finally into Lake Burton. Thanks to these bodies of water and the surrounding mountain terrain, the park has remarkable views. Explore some of the trails within the park to get a glimpse at these sights. The park is a mere 20 miles from Mountain City, so you can make it a reoccurring trip!
Drive through scenic mountain roads about an hour and a half westbound, and you’ll reach the even smaller town of Blairsville, GA. Similar to Mountain City, Blairsville is surrounded by grassy mountain ridges and beautiful nature. However, unlike Mountain City, there's an off-leash dog park located on the west side of town! The Union County Dog Park offers four-legged visitors access to an off-leash area that is fenced in and has two separate sections for large and small dogs. There is even a series of trails with views of the Nottely River that you are welcome to explore with Fido!
Northern Georgia is home to many wineries and vineyards thanks to its abundance of grape fields throughout the area. Unfortunately, many pet parents don’t get to enjoy the luxury of homemade wine from a local winery due to their pet policies. About an hour out of Mountain City, however, in the quaint village of Dahlonega, Kaya Winery & Vineyard welcomes four-legged friends on their outdoor patio. You can even find accommodations up the road at Barefoot Hill. Their cozy cabins are pup-friendly, though you will be subject to a fee. Or, head to the center of town and get some gear at Grateful Days, which allows you to shop with your leashed pet in tow.
A 30-minute drive north, just over the Georgia-North Carolina border, and you’ll be in the city of Highland, North Carolina. Here, you’ll find, among other local gems, the Highland Dog Park! Fido and their friends can frolic in this off-leash park in Central Highlands. The park itself is just off Main Street, and is near local pet-friendly hotels and even a few pet-friendly outdoor patios! Wild Thyme Gourmet is walking distance from the bark park, which makes it a favorite among the four-legged residents! The area also boasts some of the best hikes around, so be sure to leash up and take advantage.
Franklin, NC is a small town located in Franklin Township in North Carolina. The layout is very similar to Mountain City, with lots of lush foliage surrounding the area. Franklin is within Macon County and just south of Downtown Franklin is the Macon County Recreation Park. The local dog park, Big Bear Bark Park, sits near one of five entry points to the Little Tennessee River Greenway. The dog park allows pups to run off-leash within the fenced area, but if you pre-fur more secluded adventures, you can gear up and hit the footpaths nearby. Bring drinking water and waste bags with you to help keep the trail clean!
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