Mint Hill, North Carolina, is a comfortable suburb not far from Downtown Charlotte. Mint Hill is metro enough to have all the canine city comforts, but still close-knit and family-oriented — fur families included. There are two veterinarians in town and a 24-hour emergency vet hospital just south in Matthews. Your pups can shop at two pet supply emporiums in Mint Hill, including local favorite Woof n’ Hoof, a family business with old-fashioned customer service.
There’s plenty of places in Mint Hill to stretch the old legs, whether you have two or four. The Park on Wilgrove has a peaceful natural-surface trail that runs the circumference of the park, and there’s lots of room to play at Idlewild Road Park, just west of the Mint Hill city limits. This 125-acre complex includes a 1.5-mile walking trail that winds through woods and around the park’s recreation facilities.
If you’re looking for parks on a grander scale, the Reedy Creek Park and Nature Preserve is about 12 miles away and has nearly 1,000 acres of scenery including 10 miles of hiking trails open to on-leash explorers. Natural-surface trails are closed to bikers, so you’re guaranteed peace and quiet (depending on your own pack’s volume level). Get a full trail map on the park’s webpage before heading out. There’s even an off-leash dog park where your buddies can hang with their new friends on those days when the pups have more energy than you do.
The Mint Hill town center is happy to show your doggos a good time. You can have one, too, at Dunwellz Custom Kitchen and Pour House, where the friendly staff is happy to welcome your pups on the large outdoor patio and serve you (and them) some elevated pub grub. Directly across the street is Barks, Bones, and Biscuits, a local doggy “sweet” shop and bakery. Get handcrafted treats made with love by the owner, who may also dish out some cuddles for your furbaby whenever you stop by. The one-mile nature trail at Veterans Memorial Park awaits a few blocks to the east, so don’t worry too much about overindulgence. If you need more than a mile, challenge your pup to a game of disc golf on the 9-hole course.
Just 7 miles from central Mint Hill, the McAlpine Creek Park in Matthews is a pawpular doggy destination. These scenic 114 acres located on a stocked lake with fishing pier is a peaceful place to relax. The trails are wonderful for on-leash exercise, including a 2-mile hiking/biking trail and 1.5-mile nature trail. But, it’s the off-leash dog park that will keep your pack coming back every weekend; the sizable fenced area now has a separate space for smaller dogs. For a bigger challenge, take the 1.7-mile McAlpine Creek Greenway trail that leads to nearby James Boyd Park. If your babies are very good boys at the park, you can share a meal at one of four dog-friendly restaurants with outdoor seating just south of the park on Monroe Road. Get some burgers or something more exotic like the authentic kiwi cuisine at New Zealand Cafe.
The city center of Matthews is only 8 miles from Mint Hill. A number of downtown dining establishments welcome pups at outdoor tables, including the walled patio at Beantown Tavern (so you don’t have to worry about your babies making a break for the parking lot). You can walk down Trade Street to the patio and lawn at Stumptown Park for a quick walk, but you’ll get a better workout on the Four Mile Creek Greenway trail that winds throughout Matthews. You can catch the trailhead at the 36-acre Squirrel Lake Park, or just hang out at the park and play some disc golf with your furry best buds.
William R. Davie Park is next to the Rain Tree neighborhood on the Pineville-Matthews Road, 11 miles to the west of Mint Hill. Inside the Davie Dog Park, your pups have 5 acres to explore off-leash in the two well-maintained fenced areas. There is no cost to use this public park, but your buddies must have up-to-date vaccinations and tags to play. Davie Park also provides on-leash walking trails around the pond and athletic fields in this green space of more than 100 acres. Head a few more miles towards Matthews and you’ll discover five dog-friendly restaurants with patio seating, including Italian at Portofino’s at the Arboretum if you want to recreate that dogs-eating-spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp.
When you live this close to Charlotte, an occasional day of urban sophistication is on every dog’s agenda. Downtown is just 13 miles from Mint Hill, and the neighborhood of Wesley Heights is another mile north. With shady Seversville Park to the north, scenic Bryant Neighborhood Park to the south, and dog-loving Frazier Park to the east, this is a neighborhood of wide sidewalks and diverse residential architecture with occasional peeks at Stewart Creek. When you need a rest, have a beer at the dog-centric Lucky Dog Bark and Brew, where you can get buzzed with your dogs to supervise or partake in (canine) dog-wash services. Follow the sidewalk down 4th street for safe passage under I-77 and arrive at Frazier Park, featuring a large fenced dog park for off-leash entertainment and beautiful trails for on-leash exercise.