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My name is DeLanna. Enjoy, and do spend most of my time around animals. Sometimes a bond that may take two humans weeks or months to form, with animals it can be instant. There will always be something special about the unconditional love of a pet.
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Mount Airy is an Appalachian mountain town that was settled in the 1750s. It is best known for being the hometown of Andy Griffith and the inspiration for Mayberry, the setting of his famous 1960s television show. Several sites in town, including Floyd's Barber Shop and the Andy Griffith Museum, attract fans from around the world. Cast members sometimes come to the town's Mayberry Days festival in the fall.
There's more to Mount Airy than Mayberry, though. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it is rich with natural sites and outdoor spaces that are perfect places to take your pup. In addition to the nearby state parks and national park, there are many city parks to explore. There are also four veterinary clinics in Mount Airy to meet your dog's medical needs.
One great spot for a long, meandering walk is Westwood Park, a scenic 88-acre park on the north end of town. Centered on the Tumbling Rock Reservoir, a popular site for catfish and bass fishing, Westwood Park features a disc golf course, as well as miles of trails that wind through both wooded and grassy areas. As with all parks in Mount Airy, you will need to keep your dog on a leash and bring your own waste bags and water.
Walking under Mount Airy's trees with a pup by your side and a fishing pole propped against your shoulder, glinting in the filtered sunlight of a timeless afternoon, you might just find yourself whistling a familiar tune.
Downtown is where you'll find most of Mount Airy's Mayberry-themed attractions. It's also where you'll find several dog-friendly shopping and dining options. The Dapper Hound is a cute canine boutique on North Main where you can peruse the season's doggie fashion trends with your pooch. Old North State is a local winery and restaurant where you can enjoy fine dining and wine at a dog-friendly patio table. It's only a half-mile walk from Riverside Park's gorgeous natural scenery and groomed trails. You can also start the two-mile course of the Ararat Greenway at the trailhead in the park. You will need to keep your dog on a leash and bring your own waste bags and water.
In the bucolic Blackwater neighborhood, you'll pass by several farms and The FarmHouse Siloam, one of the Mount Airy area's premier wedding locations. You can also choose from many unique lodging options. The pretty Holly Hill Cabin is a pet-friendly vacation rental with a jacuzzi and full kitchen, as well as a classic covered "rocking chair front porch" where you can enjoy the sights and sounds of nature with your pup. The nearby Homeplace Recreational Park offers campsites, a large pool, and mini-golf, as well as expansive grassy areas and trails where you can take your dog for a run. You will need to keep your pup on a leash and bring your own waste bags and water.
The Ararat River Greenway follows the river south from downtown to the Sheltontown - Bannertown neighborhood, where it ends at Tharrington Park. This 23-acre park features a walking trail that connects wooded and riverside areas with open grassy fields. There's also a canoe-launching area for people who enjoy paddling with their pups. You will need to keep your dog on a leash and bring your own waste bags and water. The Greenway also passes by Chase and Charli's, a dog-friendly dining spot. This "restaurant by the river" serves everything from steak to seafood and has a lovely covered outdoor dining area where you can sit and relax while you give your good dog some bites.
Pinnacle lies twenty miles south of Mount Airy and is where you'll find the Pilot Mountain State Park. The park's namesake mountain has been a distinctive Mount Airy landmark since its founding days, and was the inspiration for "Mount Pilot" in The Andy Griffith Show. This huge park covers nearly 4,000 acres and is a favorite local spot for rock climbing, canoeing, and horseback riding. It also features an extensive trail network where you can set out for long hikes with your dog. The scenery includes unspoiled forests, waterfalls, and expansive high-altitude vistas. Pilot Mountain State Park is also a great place for birdwatching. You will need to keep your dog on a leash and bring your own waste bags and water.
Danbury lies about a half-hour drive southeast from downtown Mount Airy and is the location of Hanging Rock State Park. It's another place favored by locals looking for a pristine wilderness area where they can ride horses, canoe, or hike. The park's breathtaking waterfalls and rock formations are great places for photo-ops with your canine companion. Your dog will need to be on a leash at all times and you will need to bring your own waste bags and water. Just north of the park you'll find the Green Heron Ale House, a rustic dog-friendly brewpub with gorgeous river views. It's a great place to unwind and enjoy a beer after a long hike.
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