If you want to explore some of North Carolina's most rugged and beautiful terrain with your dog by your side, Crowders Mountain State Park is a must-visit. Located near Kings Mountain in Gaston County, this 5,126-acre park offers spectacular views, excellent hiking and the opportunity to indulge in a whole host of other recreational activities.
Home to two companion peaks — The Pinnacle and Crowders Mountain — the park offers a range of challenging hikes for those who don't mind a little bit of strenuous exercise. There are 11 trails in total, taking in everything from pastoral surroundings to steep and rocky terrain. The Ridgeline Trail in particular offers commanding views of the countryside and also links to Kings Mountain State Park and Kings Mountain National Military Park in South Carolina.
For those with a real thirst for adventure, Crowders Mountain State Park also offers excellent orienteering, rock climbing, and bouldering conditions. If you'd like to take things a little easier, you could try fishing in the park’s beautifully wooded lake, taking to the water in a canoe or kayak, or just enjoying a relaxing and scenic picnic.
The park's secluded backpack camping sites cater for individuals and larger groups, with drinking water and vault toilets provided. Campsite rates start at just $10 per night for primitive sites. Pets are also permitted in the campsites, so make sure you don't forget your canine pal.
Of course, take care to ensure that you always abide by park rules and regulations surrounding pets. These include keeping your pet on a leash of six feet or shorter and under control at all times, as well as disposing of their waste whenever necessary.
Following these simple rules is a small price to pay for the privilege of sharing this amazing park with your furry friend, and is essential to ensure that state parks around the country continue to welcome dogs of all shapes and sizes.