About an hour's drive from the state capital of Raleigh, Rocky Mount is home to several parks and a couple of trails, making it ideal for people and puppers who love spending time outside. And with two veterinary hospitals that cater to the needs of the animals of Rocky Mount, you can feel secure about your pup’s wellbeing while in town.
The Best Friend's Dog Park is the city's sole dog park, and is a definite must-visit if you're in the area. Your dog is likely to make some new friends there, especially if you go during the peak hours of early weekday mornings, weeknights, and weekends. The dog park is spread over 9 acres, and is divided into 3 fenced areas where your best friend can run and play off-leash. Communal water bowls and clean-up bags are provided, but locals say they sometimes run out, so it's best to bring your own.
After a day of playing at the park and soaking up Rocky Mount's Southern charm, grab a bite at dog-friendly restaurants that provide outdoor seating, like Mario's Pizza & Restaurant and The Prime Smokehouse Barbecue & Beyond. If you're staying in the city for a few days, there are accommodations that would welcome Fido for an extra fee, including Candlewood Suites and Residence Inn by Marriott.
Surrounded by the Tar River to the north and easily accessible via Highway 64, Falls Road is a dream neighborhood for fans of historic architecture. In addition to old, stylish buildings, Falls Road has a lot to offer in terms of puptastic activities. Take a leashed stroll through Braswell Park, the city's oldest park, and Sunset Park, the city's main park, or let Fido mingle with other dogs at the Best Friend's Dog Park. If you're looking for good food and live entertainment, the Koi Pond Brewing Company, Rocky Mount's first craft brewery, lets you unwind with a craft beer in your hand and Fido by your feet.
Right beside Falls Road is West Haven, a pawsome old neighborhood brimming with charm, history, and foliage. Peaceful and family-friendly, West Haven is home to City Lake, a quiet park where you and your pooch can jog along the half-mile concrete path that circles the lake, or relax under the shade of the hardwood and pine trees. City Lake also marks the beginning of the Tar River Trail, a seven-mile-long, multi-use trail that meanders along its namesake river. Follow the Tar River Trail to see more of the beautiful natural scenery that Rocky Mount has to offer, and remember to keep Fido on a leash at all times.
If your dog loves water, be sure to stop by Battle Park, where you can see the Tar River up close. Aside from being the central hub for both the Tar River Trail and the Tar River Paddle Trail, Battle Park is a laid-back recreation area with picnic shelters and fishing piers. Visit during spring or fall for the best views. When it's time to rest those tired feet and paws, check into one of the dog-friendly hotels located along N Wesleyan Blvd. Rocky Mount Inn, the one that’s closest to Battle Park, allows guests to bring 2 dogs up to 50 lbs for an additional fee per pet. Remember to call first if you'd like to book a pup-friendly room. For other options, there’s also Motel 6, Americas Express Inn, and Days Inn.
Locals love the neighborhood of Englewood for its serenity, friendliness, and walkability. A good place to take your dog is Englewood Park, where you can walk or jog along the quarter-mile trail or just hang out at the picnic shelters. The park also has a playground, a basketball court, tennis courts, and baseball fields, so it’s likely that you’ll catch the locals playing their favorite sports. Afterwards, grab a bite to eat at Smithfield's Chicken 'N Bar-B-Q, which features eight outdoor tables. Note that Smithfield's does not offer table service, so Fido needs to wait outside when you go in to order.
Named after Rocky Mount native and Baseball Hall of Famer Walter Fenner “Buck” Leonard, Buck Leonard Park is a 4.1-acre park housed in the neighborhood of Raleigh Blvd. It has a playground for kids, an exercise space and basketball court for adults, and plenty of green open spaces for your dog to sniff and explore. Of course, a park named after one of the greatest baseball players in history wouldn't be complete without a baseball field. A picnic shelter provides a covered area that you and your pooch can duck under when the sun gets too hot in the summer.