If your canine craves high-impact adventure and isn’t afraid of getting their paws dirty, then the Daniel Boone Scout Trail in Grandfather Mountain State Park is pawfect for you! Just outside of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, this path offers seasoned hikers an exhilarating climb that gives way to spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This natural surface trail is moderate in difficulty for most of the trek, but the final 0.75-mile stretch is strenuous, with ladders that must be climbed to reach the Calloway Peak. At the top, your hard work will be rewarded with magnificent views of Grandfather Mountain and the heart of Appalachia. Near the peak, you can see the remains of an airplane that crashed here in the 1970s. Many dogs can reach the summit, but if you or your pooch have any doubts, do not to try the last stretch.
The weekend crowds can dampen the mood of this adventure -- if possible, visit on a weekday to get the full experience. The landscape is especially captivating during autumn when the leaves are changing and spring when the rhododendrons are in bloom. It is advised you bring at least 3 liters of water for yourself, plus more for your furry companion (don’t forget the collapsible bowl and waste bags too!).
Forest canopy covers the entire trail, so you won’t have any issue finding a tree for shade while you lap up some fresh water. Black bears and mountain lions are known occupants of this area; if you see one, keep your distance and never feed them. This route is also straight through the forest, so we can guarantee there are ticks. Make sure your pet’s tick meds are up to date and spritz on some insect repellent for yourself (reapply as directed).
This trail will test your physical limitations, but the payoff at the end is so rewarding. Are you up for the challenge?