Unionville is a fast-growing suburb of Charlotte pawpular with gentleman farmers and commuters whose pups enjoy country living. Don't let the small-town vibe fool you: Unionvillians can be in Downtown Charlotte in half an hour. If wilderness is more your game, though, an hour drive to the northeast will have you in the heart of the 51,000-acre Uwharrie National Forest and the National Recreation Trail spanning its length, just waiting for your on-leash pack to come and play.
While there are no public parks inside the Unionville town limits, there are several lovely green spaces closer to home. Fairview Park in Monroe, just north of Unionville, has a paved walking path around a lake; on-leash dogs are welcome, but neighbors ask that you clean up any messes. Blair Mill Park in Stallings is still under development, but the 18-hole disc golf course, plus meadows and nature walks, make for a furrific day out.
Though the nearby retail hubs are outside the town border, Unionville’s location puts creature comforts within reach. Carolina Pet Pantry is a locally-owned food and supply emporium located on the Unionville-Indian Trail Road in Indian Trail. There are also six veterinary practices within a few minutes of town, most along Highway 74. Let’s hope no one needs it, but there’s a nearby 24-hour emergency animal hospital in Matthews.
Downtown Monroe is 8 miles from Unionville and a lovely spot for a stroll. Belk-Tonawanda Park is in the middle of everything. Wide lawns and mature hardwood trees set a relaxing vibe, and the walking track is a great place to work off a long day with your very best friend — on-leash, please. Beginning at the park, you can follow the Downtown Greenway, a well-marked 1.5 mile loop through the parks and shopping district of Monroe. To brush up on local history while your pup meets all the locals, download the Historical Downtown Walking Tour map from the town’s website. When you’re all walked-out, have a sit at the outdoor seating at Stone Table and enjoy their elevated American fare with a Southern twist.
On the eastern outskirts of Monroe, you’ll find suburban shopping and dining options that are missing back in Unionville, 8 miles away. You can let your buddy chose the restaurant: there are 10 dog-friendly eateries with outdoor seating along Roosevelt Highway. Head north towards the mall if your pup prefers Asian fusion or wants to skip dinner for ice cream. Head south towards the golf course for burgers or Mexican. Then, keep going to reach the Monroe Golf Course, a public facility managed by the city. There’s a scenic stretch of the Carolina Thread Trail that follows Richardson Creek between the landscaped course and natural forest. The round-trip hike from the parking lot is about 1.5 miles.