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Dad and McCartney hiking trip in the NC mountains started as a brilliant thought by me, of course. Nicole had a meeting in Boone, NC and I jumped at the notion to go on a hiking adventure in mountains with my doodle girl. The only problem for me would be how to pass 4-5 hours of time while she was in her meeting. That’s an easy task to complete with the numerous hiking trails all over the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Hiking Adventure - Dad & McCartney Doodle hike in the NC Mountains! #leisureandleashes #hikingwithdogs #boonenc #hikingadventure

Dad & Doodle Girl on a Hiking Adventure

As always in the mountains, you can never predict the weather. In North Carolina, experiencing all four seasons in a day is definitely not out of the question! This trip was no exception, as the forecast kept changing from rain to no rain. I debated on taking McCartney because I didn’t want her to get soaked and muddy. However, I decided to take her anyway and the weather turned out to be awesome for our hike.

The Mountains Are Calling…

On any given summer day, it’s a good 20 degrees cooler in the mountains than it is at home. This is super nice when the temperatures are getting close to three digits. I have always enjoyed spending time in the mountains, even if it’s only for a quick picnic or hike. While Nicole was in college at UNC Asheville & Appalachian State University we had many adventures! So the mountains have always had a special place in my heart as I spent many weekends in the high country.

Boone Fork Trail

I decided to hike the Boone Fork Trail since it’s close to 5 miles in length. I first hiked this trail when I was in middle school, and it was fun then and I knew it could be fun now. Perfect hike to pass time and enjoy nature.

Although I’m not an expert, I have always loved hiking. I love being in nature and really enjoy the quietness probably because I’m an introvert. McCartney is also like this because she’s extremely shy toward people. McCartney is also very energetic so I knew that she would be able to make the journey with me.

McCartney climbing the stairs on the Boone Fork Trail during her hiking adventure with dad! #leisureandleashes #mccartneydoodle #hikingwithdogs #blueridgeparkway

Hiking Adventure Prep

The night before as I was getting everything ready, McCartney started to tell I was going somewhere–which means she immediately thinks she’s going too. That girl has awesome skills at knowing when something fun is about to go down. When they say dogs can sense feelings, they aren’t wrong.

For our hiking adventure, I put together my bag with some snacks, water, and my knife. You just never know when you may need a knife for safety or for cutting something down. I also started getting together green beans, putting the freezer packs in the freezer, poop bags, and all the things for McCartney too.

No One Gets Left Behind

You always hear these horror stories of hikers getting hurt and never found. Well, that was definitely in my mind since I had McCartney with me. I had to make sure she stayed safe too. I’m that dog dad that wants the dog to survive over me if that circumstance ever arrived. Nicole and I joked about this until the point she dropped us off! She kept telling me I better not let anything happen to her dog.

The Hiking Adventure Begins

This hiking adventure was fairly special because it was the first time that McCartney and I had gone on a hike together. In the past it has always been Nicole and I with the dogs. If you know McCartney, she’s definitely a Momma’s girl so I was a little worried that she wouldn’t want to adventure in the woods when Nicole dropped us off.

Boy was I surprised, McCartney didn’t even look back as Nicole drove off to head to Boone for her meeting. It was an awesome feeling to connect with my little black and white doodle girl! We were supposed to wait until 10 am to start but we were excited and into the woods we went for our hiking adventure!

Doodle Girl Takes The Trail

Hiking during the week means fewer people out on the trail. We literally passed less than 20 people on our 5-mile hike, and the majority of these were in and around the Julian Price campground. Talk about experiencing all the wonderful sounds from nature with your best fur-friend is simply amazing! From the mountain streams flowing over the rocks to the birds chirping, we were in heaven and away from the noise of our everyday lives. Such an awesome experience.

McCartney Doodle goes on a hiking adventure with her dad in Boone, NC!

Splish-Splash in the Mountain Creek

I kept telling McCartney that we were going to find her a nice spot along the creek and I was going to let her splash around. She has always loved splashing in creeks since she was little. This trip was no different, she splashed in the cold mountain streams and was so happy. When I told her it was time to go, she was on a mission to our next stop. We had many hours to complete the five miles and I figured we were walking at a slow enough pace to time out Nicole’s arrival to pick us up!

One of the most special events on this hike was when we approached these man-made ladders that we had to ascend or descend depending on location. I had planned on carrying McCartney if need be, but I figured I would try and let her climb on her own. She was nervous at first, but this girl amazes me all the time! McCartney made it look simple, even though she made me go first. I guess she did that so she could learn from my mistakes!

Trails and Ladders and Splashing, oh my!

We climbed ladders and big rocks and played in streams together. We made it back to the parking area an entire 2 hours earlier than we needed to. Oh boy, now what to do while we waited? Well, it was hot by this time, so I grabbed a prime location picnic table and we ate. I had a sandwich and she had green beans. Then we played in the creek and spent time listening to all the little kids from a daycare in awe about how pretty McCartney was. Overall, we both had an amazing day on our hiking adventure!

McCartney Grace is one happy doodle as she goes on a hiking adventure on the Boone Fork Trail with her dad! #hikingwithdogs #leisureandleashes #dogswhohike

Which Pack Member Goes With Dad?

Taking one dog is always hard for me because I don’t want to hurt their feelings. Yes, I believe that dogs have feelings just like we humans do. We try our best in including all the dogs in adventures together as much as possible. When deciding who I should take with me on my hike, it was a hard decision because I knew that McCartney would be fine climbing and going far because she is energetic and loves adventures.

Short Legs & Big Sniffs

Storm, on the other hand, those little basset legs couldn’t have climbed some of the ladders or the big rocks we would have to face! I do know that she would have made it one way or another, especially if we had all day to complete the task. There would be way too many sniffing opportunities along this hike, heck we would probably still be out there.

Lazy & Silly

Elliott is a goofball and kind of lazy, so I doubt he would have wanted to climb the ladders. Actually, I could see him getting stuck on a rock and just dangling there because he wouldn’t know how to get off of it. The only thing I disliked about this hike was leaving Storm and Elliott behind. If you know me, I’m a family oriented person and love doing things as a family and I wanted them all there with us.

Our Next Adventure

McCartney and I had an awesome day on our hiking adventure! We knew that we when returned home, we would be greeted with love and wagging tails. One thing that I have learned after owning dogs over the years is that no matter how long you are gone, whether its 5 minutes or 5 hours, (wo)man’s best friend will always be glad to see you and welcome you home and beg for a treat!

Where to Next?

We are planning another mountain trip hopefully before it gets too cold, that all three will go on. We all love going to Max Patch and the sense of being on top of the world is amazing! Want to keep up with all of our adventures? Head over to our instagram account and follow us now!