Top Dog Trails near Charlotte, NC

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Charlotte is a city that has grown astronomically over the past couple of decades, and the dog population has burgeoned along with all the new residents and businesses! Like all pups, Charlotte's canines love to get out for adventure with their humans, especially walking and hiking. So many smells and sounds to "read," not to mention other pooches and their pet-friendly people! Whether your regular route is in the city parks, or along the streets near your home, there's a walk that's right for you and Fido, and usually a trail name to go along with it! Outside the city, parks and preserves have concocted a smorgasbord of exploration you may never tire of, in the midst of NC's moderate climate and natural beauty.

#1 The Booty Loop

Locally considered one of the best trails in Charlotte, this 3-mile route attracts runners, bikers and hikers, with their leashed 4-legged furries in tow! Less than a mile from downtown, the trail ambles up and down small hills in the Myers Park neighborhood, made barktiful by tall oak shade trees, grassy lawns and impressive homes. While the source of the popular Booty Loop's name is not fully known, several theories exist, including reference to the muscled bodies of its users!

#2 McMullen Creek Greenway

While many folks think of this as a biking trail, walkers, runners and their pooches see it as the pawrfect place to set out on foot at the southern edge of Charlotte. Its wide, paved surface accommodates families and doggos. Wooden boardwalks crossing over wetlands are pawsitively furbulous, offering sightings of frogs, waterfowl and other wildlife. Humans will find restrooms for their comfort, but mustn't forget to be prepared for the pupper's deposits as well.

#3 King's Mountain Hiking Trail

Not far from Charlotte, in King's Mountain State Park, is this furbulous 16-mile loop trail that's just right for a day or so of exploration!  Bring pup-loving snacks or lunch, and plenty of water for this moderately difficult trek through gently rolling hills and past impressive granite outcroppings. Small mountains offer pawsome views of the surrounding valleys, and a smorgasbord of wildlife keeps Fido's senses busy! Hardwood forest provides shade and quiet, while streams babble and provide pawfreshing breaks!
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#4 Canal Trail

One of three trails inside the Lansford Canal State Park, the Canal Trail beckons you and your pup to hike its easy, 3-mile round trip route along the Catawba River in Catawba, SC, just a half hour drive from Charlotte. Known for its views of hundreds of pawtastic rocky shoals spider lilies that bloom in the early summer, you and your pooch will also enjoy watching the furtastic river rapids.

#5 South Fork Trail

This grrreat hike on a 2 mile trail that follows along the South Fork of the Catawba River, and passes through the Pharr Yarns Preserve. For pups and humans yearning for an easy, peaceful and picturesque hike in the woods, this is pawrfect! The trail starts in Lowell and ends in McAdenville, a mere 12 miles from downtown Charlotte. The constant murmuring of the river, bird sounds from above and greenery all around will call you and your fur-baby back again and again!

#6 Lake Haigler Nature Walk

About 14 miles south of Charlotte in Fort Mill, SC, sits the Lake Haigler Nature Walk at Anne Springs Close Greenway, pupular with leashed  canines and their humans. Skirting the lake, the trail's natural surface and lush foliage are just what the vet ordered! Tulip Poplar trees and Christmas Ferns line the path, and hickories near the trail's end feed the abundant squirrels. Fido will have a ball sniffing out the small critters! An extra treat could be a dip in the lake - pawsome!

#7 Crowders Trail

Just a half-hour from downtown Charlotte in Kings Mountain, the Crowder Mountain State Park features pawsome adventures for leashed pups. One of four furbulous hikes, Crowders Trail is the longest and one of the most pupular! To hike to the top of Crowder Mountain, you can connect with the strenuous Backside Trail, but the 6-mile round trip Crowders will satisfy folks and dogs who relish lush wildflowers and pastoral settings, with the mountain forming a stunning backdrop!

#8 Irwin Creek and Stewart Creek Greenways

Eventually destined to be one long greenway in downtown Charlotte, these two urban trails are currently connected by the Wesley Heights Connector. Stretching over 3 miles, the trails are a pawradise for doggos intent on seeing, sniffing and hearing everything in nature! Mallards and Great Blue Herons occupy the creek with other birds and small animals. The quiet is a grrreat break from Charlotte's hustle and bustle, and the greenways are close to neighborhood condos and apartments!

#9 Charlotte Rail Trail

This is a true urban trail that never leaves the city. Sidewalks and streets are your path, with lots to look at. The trail follows the route of the newly refurbished Charlotte Trolley, which still carries folks for free from uptown to the South End and back. Lots of surrounding urban activity will keep your pooch engaged the whole way, and the 3+ miles will make him a tired pup!

#10 Sierra Loop Trail

Reedy Creek Park features 10 miles of mostly short trails, but one furvorite is the Sierra Loop Trail. As confusing as the name may seem, as the park is miles from the Sierra Mountains, this undulating loop's 1.5 miles is pawrfect for a walk with Fido held securely on his leash! Streams, hummingbirds, small foraging critters and dragonflies will capture the pup's  attention at every turn while you gasp at the furtastic trees and foliage along the way!