Only 15 miles from our home in South Charlotte is a scenic dog walk destination, McDowell Nature Preserve. There are over 1100 acres of land and water with camping, hiking, fishing and boat access onto Lake Wylie. There are 7 miles of hiking trails, a 50+ site campground, picnic areas, and playground. We were able to hike on an up and down, but not difficult, path, with access to the shore of the lake along the path.
Tessa still has not decided if she likes water in the form of lakes and streams. She only accidentally gets her feet wet. We are two weeks from a trip to Folly Beach, SC, where we will be staying very close to the shore, so a week of walks by the Atlantic. I need her to figure out that water is fun. She was particularly put out by a guy about my age coming into a small beach on a kayak. She had a nice growl and a bark, but then eased up to get a sniff, figuring out the guy was not a threat, and moved on to other sniffing business.
I will be back for some additional hikes on the preserve, earlier in the morning, or later this year, because it was roasting by 11:00am. We need to increase the length and difficulty of our hikes during the rest of the hot season so I can take Tessa on a few long overnights into the mountains in the fall. Shopping for backpacks and other equipment has opened my eyes to the cost of getting well equipped for 2-3 days in the backwoods. Retail prices would have me spend close to a thousand dollars for backpack, bag, pad and tent. Going to shop all those items on eBay, Craigslist, etc., to see if I can get the price tags more reasonable.
Don’t miss McDowell Nature Preserve at 15222 York Rd., Charlotte, NC 28278. Phone: 704-588-5224, if you want a scenic walk with your pup.