Looking for Some of the Best Places to Vacation with Dogs?  Look No Further than Nature’s Mountain Playground

Michael Moore

For most American families the much-coveted summer vacation represents a culmination of careful timing, considerable planning, and quite possibly at least one heated debate over the final destination.  Almost every family member has a contributing part to play for the vacation to be deemed a success.  Parents must schedule time off from work and rearrange other obligations that coincide with their time away.  Kids (at least when I was a kid) must finish up the school year, hopefully with grades good enough to thwart off any half-hearted attempts from mom and dad to cancel all vacation plans due to poor academic performance.  A threat, by the way mom and dad, most kids rarely fall for. 

Ironically, the one family member that usually has plenty of free time to go on vacation, but unfortunately has no say on the subject, is the family pet.  Admittedly, these days pets can range from exotic wildlife to reptiles and just about anything in-between.  But for the sake of this article, and because cats would prefer you go on vacation and leave the house to them, let’s focus on dogs.  According to the American Veterinary Medical Association nearly 40 percent of American households own at least one dog.  That breaks down to just under a breath-taking total of 53 million dogs nationwide – a large percentage of which, I’m guessing, would love to go on the family vacation or at least a dog-friendly day trip.  Well as good fortune would have it, Nature’s Mountain Playground, here in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, turns out to be a perfect, pet-friendly travel destination.  So, whether you’re a family of four with one dog or a solo traveler with four dogs, let’s look at some of the pet-friendly travel options available to you and man’s best friend here in Nature’s Mountain Playground. 

What makes Pocahontas County such a great dog destination is so many of the outdoor adventures that draw people here, can also be enjoyed by the canines we love and regard as bona fide family members.  No matter if you’re looking to spend a week traversing the entire county or just have a day trip in mind, Nature’s Mountain Playground has plenty of options for you and your furry companion.  If your plans include a longer stay, you’ll be pleased to know hiking with dogs is allowed in all five of our state parks as long as your dog is on a leash.  That means the family favorite state parks of Watoga, Beartown, the Greenbrier River Trail, Droop Mountain Battlefield, and Cass (apart from pets on the train) can all be pet friendly vacations with a leashed dog.  Just imagine the thrill your beloved pooch would have exploring the trails of Droop Mountain by your side or an evening tour with the family around Watoga Lake.  And if a week-long vacation isn’t in your plans, why not consider a day hike with your four-legged friend?  When your outdoor time is limited, nothing beats a quick hike through the Cranberry Glades, Beartown or one of the many trails off the Highland Scenic Highway.  Again, as long as your dog is leashed, you’re good to go. 

Now not all travelers (or their dogs) are necessarily looking to rough it in a cabin or tent tucked away in the middle of the woods and we totally get that.  The pre-vacation plans for these visitors and their pampered pets, therefore, often need to include a search for pet friendly hotels.  Well, that’s no reason to cross Pocahontas County off your list of possible pet vacation destinations.  We have any number of pet friendly lodging options available, ranging from bed and breakfasts, to condos, hotels, lodges, and inns.  For a quick and handy listing of these pet friendly possibilities, be sure to request your free Nature’s Mountain Playground Adventure Guide from us and look for the paw print icon in our lodging section.  You might be surprised how many possibilities you’ll find.   

Good vacations with dogs really aren’t that much more of a challenge than putting together a good vacation for the family.  Sure, it may take a little extra planning and research, but isn’t that four-legged family member worth the extra effort?  To me, part of the true joy of travel is found in sharing it with others.  So why not include your beloved pet in on the fun?  The unconditional love and loyalty they show us every day, in my opinion, entitles them to enjoy the family vacation right along with the rest of us.  So, if you’re looking for a week-long stay for the family and Fido, or maybe just a quick outing to get some dog friendly hiking in for the day, check us out here at Nature’s Mountain Playground.  We think you and the entire family will have the time of your life here, creating experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.  Oh by the way, when you get home, try not to wake the cat.