Gastonia, North Carolina, is adjacent to the much larger Charlotte and is a city that is constantly in motion. While many jobs are in debate, the population of Gastonia is still growing. Many citizens enjoy taking their mind off their worries by spending time with their family. And more often than not, dogs are part of the family.
The Gastonia area offers tons of ways to relax and come back to your senses by taking a hike. There are multiple trails available for everyone itching to go outside and do some serious hiking. The Tower and Backside Trail and the Pinnacle Trail offer a longer and more challenging hike while the Crowders Lake Trail is a great way to gain enthusiasm about hiking. Dogs are allowed, assuming they are socialized and well behaved, as long as they stay on their leash.
Local dogs go crazy over the George Poston Dog Park. This enclosed park is divided in a 4,5 acre for large dogs and 1-acre area for smaller dogs. The best part, especially to Fido, is that dogs can be off their leash, and there is enough space to run around and get rid of all that energy. Dog owners are however encouraged to take a break as there are plenty of benches to sit on.
The most dog-friendly restaurant in town according to many is the Hickory Tavern. You can enjoy succulent seafood, a juicy steak or just a simple burger and knock down a cold one and your dog can stay right next to you as long as you sit on the large patio.
East Franklin is one of the several neighborhoods in Gastonia that the Catawba Creek runs though. It’s also where you’ll find parking for the Avon/Catawba Creeks Greenway, a great place for you and your pup to start your adventure in Gastonia! This paved greenway is easy on the paws and the eyes, and meanders through mature trees and over scenic bridges. While your pal takes a break, you can take in information about the common bird species in the area on the various signs posted throughout the park. The Greenway connects to another East Franklin park, Lineberger Park. A favorite place for family picnics, this park consists of 18.5 acres of open lawn space and trees. It also features a public pool, restrooms and shelters. Since these are all multi-use areas, dogs must be leashed and don’t forget the poop bags!
In the neighborhood of Ranlo, you’re pup will be excited to visit the George Poston Dog Park. Tails wag and locals rave about this massive off-leash dog area. With two separate fenced in sections, every pup can find its place. It has a 1 acre run for small dogs that weigh 25 pounds or less, and a 4.5 acre area for larger dogs. It’s a great place to socialize with other pups and their two-legged friends. On a hot day, there is plenty of shade and water buckets to go around. Waste bags are available, but don’t forget a ball to throw!
If you and your dog are up for a challenge, Tower and Backside Trail is popular among the more athletic pups. It’s located on the north end of Crowders Mountain State Park in Gastonia. This 3 mile hike that may take about 2 hours to complete with your furry friend. The trail starts on an old roadbed with a gentle climb, and ends with 336 wooden stairs. The trek is worth it
though, and the 1625 foot summit offers a paw-rific view of the Charlotte skyline. You’ll need to keep your dog leashed, and get there early, because the parking lot is small.
If you find yourself in the Mountain View neighborhood in the nearby town of Kings Mountain, you’ll have a fur-tastic way to spend some time. Your pup will be delighted to find the Crowders Lake Trail. If you and your pup need a relaxing break from the city, this might be the perfect trail for you. Being one of the easiest trail options in Crowders Mountain State Park, it welcomes all levels of hikers and dogs as long as they’re leashed. This laid-back, 1 mile hike is not short on views. It takes approximately 20 minutes, and circles a picturesque lake often populated with ducks. Don’t forget your doggy life-jacket, because this location also offers canoe rentals.
You and your pup won’t run out of things to do at the U.S National Whitewater Center in Moores Chapel. Located along the Catawba River in Charlotte, it’s just 20 minutes outside of Gastonia. This outdoor center is worth the trip to visit its 400 acres of scenic woodlands that’s run by a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting an active, outdoor lifestyle that you and your dog can both enjoy. Take your leashed dog on the hiking trails, and if you need to cool your paws, strap on the life jacket and take out a kayak. When you need a treat, you both can relax at the River’s Edge Bar and Grill. Dogs are welcome, but not on the upper deck of the restaurant. Whether you and your buddy are here to play or to relax, The U.S. National Whitewater Center is a fur-tastic place to be!