There's nothing better than exploring in the woods behind my house (minus the ticks!). I thought there couldn't be anything better, THEN, yesterday my mom told me about these pet friendly vacation rentals that are located near the breathtaking DuPont State Forest in North Carolina.
Boy, was I intrigued! I can only imagine the amazing sniffs to be found - whoa! I then spoke to Nan Wells, owner and founder of Dogwoods Retreat, to find out a little more about this amazing sanctuary in Brevard, NC -- about 30 miles from Asheville.
Tucker: DogWoods Retreat is such a spectacular place for us pooches. From the luxury dog friendly vacation cabins to the majestic forest, it’s like a slice of doggie heaven! What brought you to create this amazing getaway for dogs and our people?
Nan: In the fall of 2001 I packed up my two dogs Osmond and Zoe and headed to the mountain town of Brevard, North Carolina to seek sanctuary. Upon arrival I was amazed by the natural beauty of the area and its calming influences. Enchanted by “The Land of Waterfalls”, Pisgah National Forest and the friendliness of the local people I decided to make Brevard my home the following summer. Searching the area for the perfect property, located not too far from town but in the midst of the forest, she discovered Cantrell Mountain located near the DuPont State Forest. Wanting to share the natural beauty and my love of dogs with others I bought the land on which I designed and built the cabins for DogWoods Retreat. Using responsible stewardship of the land and maintaining its natural beauty I have created the perfect private luxury dog & owner vacation.
Tucker: Although I love the outdoors, there’s nothing like curling up in front of a warm fire after a long day of sniffing in the woods. Do your dog friendly cabins have fireplaces? What other features & amenities do they have?
Nan: All of our luxury dog friendly cabins have wood burning fireplaces inside and fire pits outside for that old time camp experience. We have huge fenced yards for games of fetch or chasing your doggie friends that totally surround each cabin. There are plenty of covered porches and open decking for enjoying a nap and a private hot tub for your people. You’ll find luxury beds, linens, fully stocked kitchens, Wi-Fi, Satellite TV and all the other amenities of home. Also provided are comfy dog beds, exercise pens, bowls for dinner time, and bath towels for you.
Tucker: I know that some places say they are pet friendly but then they charge really high pet fees and only allow small little dogs. What is your pet policy?
Nan: We designed DogWoods Retreat so that all dogs could have a vacation with their people, there are no pet fees. As a professional dog trainer, I understand that rescue and other dogs often have special needs. No obedience requirements need be met to stay with us! All dogs are welcome regardless of breed, size and temperament. Our fenced yards are spacious and all cabins are situated on one acre lots so you are allowed plenty of privacy. Of course if you meet some good doggie friends, during your stay, you might want to get together for a play date together. Optional private consults are available for during your stay with us to help with behavioral issues or training problems you might be having.
Tucker: I understand that your NC pet friendly cabins are surrounded by DuPont State Forest and Pisgah National Forest. I imagine the scenery is breathtaking! What kind of wildlife is there to chase? -- I mean, observe…and what else might I see or sniff?
Nan: There are lots of rivers to swim in and trout to catch and trails to hike and deer to chase and of course you will probably see a white squirrel or two! Wild turkey and pileated wood peckers also share the forest with us. You might even be lucky and catch a glimpse of a black bear while hiking in Pisgah National Forest.
Tucker: I’d be happy exploring the woods all day, but I know my people like to mix things up a bit. What are some other things to do in the area?
Nan: Brevard, NC has several annual festivals to enjoy including the White Squirrel Festival that celebrates our local white squirrels. It is filled with 3 days of free live music and street fair over the Memorial Day weekend. Summer brings six weeks full of the Brevard Music Center’s preforming arts and in September the famed Mountain Song Festival. Halloweenfest features the annual Flight of the Vampire 5 & 10k races. Numerous bike races take place here in the “Cycling Capital of the South”, known for our world-class bike trails. Outdoor activities such as zip-lining, world class trout fishing, golf, horseback riding, kayaking, hiking and rock climbing give plenty of options for the adventurer. A host of wonderful local restaurants, breweries and shops downtown will entice you to peace out and enjoy our quaint mountain town.
Tucker: I have excellent manners! However, my four-legged brother and sister could use some help in that area. I understand you offer dog training services at your retreat. Can you tell me more about that? (I might have to sign them up!)
Nan: You can get a “new leash on life” for you and your people from us. Receive customized training sessions and behavioral assessments during your stay with us. We can help with little things like jumping and leash pulling all the way up to big things like separation anxiety and reactive behavior. Dog care services such as let outs, walks, and dinner time can be handled by us if you want to leave the pooches home.
Tucker: What else can you tell me about DogWoods Retreat that makes it so special?
Nan: We live smack dab in the middle of one of the most beautiful areas of the Western North Carolina Mountains. You don’t need to venture far from home to enjoy them and town is close by. Less than 10 minutes away is our favorite hangout DuPont State Forest filming site of the original Hunger Games. This and all the wonderful dog friendly things to do make us the ultimate dog lovers vacation. So get yourself over here, you won’t want to miss out!
In the meantime, I'm just going to dream about it. :)