Sunday, April 18, 2010

Four Paws Kingdom: Dog-Dedicated Campground, NC Foothills

Hi all - Dianne here. This blog will be all about Four Paws Kingdom Campground. I know we have a lot of dog-lover readers of our blog, and I want to be sure they know about this unique place to vacation with their dogs. It's the only campground of its type that I know of in the U.S.

For our friends who aren't so into dogs and camping, check back soon to read Roger's update on our day trip to Lake Lure and Chimney Rock.

First, here's a link to Four Paws, if you would like more info: You don't even have to own an rv to camp here; they also rent little dog-friendly cottages or parked rvs, complete with fenced, gated front porches for you and your pets.

We stayed here on vacation in our travel trailer once, when the park was brand new. It's even better now! In addition to the usual large, grassy fenced areas for large dogs and small dogs, they've recently added a "private" fenced area for those with dogs who are timid or don't play well with others. There's a hanging sign that can be flipped to either read "occupied" or "please join us," depending on the situation. (There are some breed restrictions here, so check before you go if you're not sure about your dog.)

There is a fenced dog swimming pond (Jasper's favorite) with a gazebo and sitting area.

Of course, you don't have to have a dog to camp here. The campground is in a lovely area in the North Carolina foothills. It's very peaceful, and a good spot to see beautiful Eastern bluebirds.

There's also a separate fenced stream bed (Linus' Creek Park) where dogs can run and splash in a small stream bed.

There are lots of planned activities (check out their calendar on their web site for an up-to-date listing). Saturday night we attended an Italian potluck. We left the "boys" in the motor home and walked over to the activity area. Wow, what a spread! The food was delicious and it was fun to talk with other folks staying here and with Birgit and Meik. It was obvious that many folks return here again and again; it's a family atmosphere. I think almost everyone at the potluck was a return camper.

One very popular activity is their annual Oktoberfest. (The owners, Meik and Birgit Bartoschek, are originally from Germany.) I hear they put on quite a show!

There is a short hiking trail. When we were here before, it was mainly a grassy area with a mowed trail. Now it has grown into a very pretty hike near the pond.

For those into agility, there is a "pro" agility course (for use only by those who know what they're doing!), but also a separate fenced agility "fun" park, with easier toys for those not quite at the "olympic" level yet, or who just want to try it out.

There's a rally area with a rally course.

In addition to the normal showers and laundry, there's a doggy bathhouse for guests to use. There is also a grooming area with grooming tables ready and available.

The office has a large selection of fun dog-related merchandise, including home-baked dog treats, and cute T-shirts sporting artwork by Birgit.

The sites are gravel and many are shaded. Some are back-ins and some are pull-throughs. Each has a gravel patio, fire ring, and picnic table.

Birgit is very artistic, as evidenced by the many hand-painted signs and doggy decor throughout the campground. Meik and Birgit are a very creative couple. It's obvious this campground is, for them, a labor of love. We were happy to return to find it growing and thriving! This will be a "must stop" for us whenever we find ourselves in North Carolina.


Dane said...

I had no idea this camp ground was there! We've always stayed at the State Park on Lake Norman which is quite and lovely too...but there are very few dogs and no off leash areas.

Thanks for the post about the doggy 'park'!

Gin and Syl said...

Thanks for such an informative review of this CG. We have heard of the place and it sounds great but your photos bring it to life.

It's nice to know they have a "private" fenced area for dogs like our 100 pound toy poodle...10 pound dog and 90 pound attitude. :)

Unknown said...

Hello Travel with Whippets! Just wanted to introduce ourselves - we are and also travel the US and Canada in an RV with our 2 dogs. It would be interesting to meet up should our paths ever cross. Safe travels!