4 Paws Kingdom Campground and Dog Retreat- Rutherfordton NC

It is rare that a specific campground becomes a destination location for us. In July of 2015 my wife Karen asked to put 4 Paws Kingdom Campground and Dog Retreat on the must-see list. So here we are, at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains living among the trees with dogs and their owners. We booked a two week stay as during this spring/summer trip we are doing our best to stay at least a week at each stop and two if it is a destination. I’ll have to say the longer stays with shorter drives between each has been wonderful. If I had no desire to return “home” the preferred way of travel for me would be take off in a direction, never look back and stay for a week or two everywhere while circling the United States with maybe a two month stay for the winter.

Stop to Visit Family on the Way to 4 Paws

On the way to 4 Paws, we stayed for a week in Spartanburg South Carolina. From Spartanburg we made a day trip without the RV to the west side of busy Charlotte to visit Karen’s Uncle Dave and Aunt Rose whom she had not seen for many years. They live on a wooded lot near a residential lake. We much enjoyed the conversation, lunch and walk around the property. I sat there looking at Karen’s uncle and marveled at how much Dave’s gestures and features reminded me of Karen’s mom. You can tell Dave and Karen’s mom grew up in the same house. Rose is a sweetheart and any man would be privileged to have her in their life. We did take a photo, but I never got a copy from Karen.

Uncle Dave and Rose’s backyard on the South Carolina side of Charlotte.
Our spot at Cunningham RV Park in Spartanburg SC off I-26. Read the reviews before staying here.

While stopped in Spartanburg with nothing to tour in the area I had plenty of time to review our upcoming route and decided from 4 Paws Kingdom I’d be taking I-77 north through Fancy Gap rather than the higher elevations on I-26 north of Asheville. By the way Asheville North Carolina is the main reason folks come to this area so if you are near, I’d suggest researching Asheville.

4 Paws Campground and Dog Retreat

Site 13 – Pull through completely enclosed by a fence! Our dog Wyatt has never had a fenced yard. This was a welcome break for us as well. Wyatt was free to do what he wanted without close supervision. Yes, dogs bark at other dogs when they walked by. Owners don’t mind and the noise was never a problem. All the campers are dog lovers and because of mutual interests are very easy to make friends with.

4 Paws Campground has resort level customer service. We were met in the street during check-in, a park employee showed us to our site and helped us navigate the hillside location to include guided service into our spot. They picked up trash every morning at our site, office staff were amazing, and Karen could even get her fancy coffee at times at the pavilion. If you come here, follow the campground’s direction listed on their website! This is a hilly area with truck routes and narrow country roads. There are plenty of day trips to take from the park if you’re interested. They have done a great job with the campground which includes something like 24 dog waste locations to pick up after your dog. They advertise this is a dog retreat but it’s okay to bring their human friends. Of course, they have lots for the humans to do and enjoy while here. This is the only campground in the United States built from the ground up as a dog retreat! With eight themed dog parks, pet grooming stations and more set in a quiet wooded area. Dogs barking was never an issue.

Wyatt gets his summer haircut and then later bath in the park’s airconditioned dog wash.
Wyatt gets to swim off leash with friends at the big pond. There are eight dog parks here that are fenced, each having a specific purpose.
Getting ready for fun at the chase park every Saturday morning. Nope – they don’t chase each other. See the next photo
This is a plastic bag on a wire which is chased by the dogs. Wyatt did a wonderful job as the crowd cheered him along.
Easter weekend the park was full. This is getting ready for the dog’s easter egg hunt. There are no breed restrictions nor limit on the number of dogs folks can bring. They have permanent rental RVs under shelters and plenty of cabins if you don’t own an RV.
Road to our spot. The park is located between a couple hills. The drive in revealed the peaks of the Smoky Mountains between the trees at times but you can’t see them from the park itself.
They name the camping spots. I took this photo of site 10 – “Dixie” is the name of Wyatt’s best friend.

A couple Interesting RV Tips

Have you ever walked around a campground and noticed some RVers are better prepared than others? Us careful researchers can spot another in a second just by what accessories they bought. Everyone at 4 Paws were fantastic to meet. Campers get along always, but I’d have to say there was something different here. Folks stopped to talk always… Everyone was outside more often…. We had the best mutual bond which is the love of dogs…

ProPride 3P Hitch

I was staring over at our neighbor Kathy’s travel trailer hitch, noting it was a serious setup. I could see she had done her research. Next thing you know we are talking, and she emails information from her research in selecting a travel trailer hitch to help prevent the serious sway problem they can have while towing. Having a fifth wheel has spoiled me in terms of it feels more controllable in the wind. If I ever went back to a travel trailer, I’d consider the ProPride 3 P Hitch. Read all about it and trailer sway at this link.

Alliance Toy Hauler with a canvas room on the deck.

In case your toy hauler needs another room, apparently there are options to buy an enclosed room for the deck area. We don’t see many toy haulers with the back deck down inside RV parks as they just don’t fit the space. The guys who started Keystone RV Company sold out then started Grand Design then sold out to Winnebago. I heard at least one of them started Alliance.

We are currently stopped outside Bristol Tennessee/Virginia where my family settled in the late 1700’s. In my next post I’ll show you the video of the drive up the mountain and through Fancy Gap on I-77. The truck and my nerves did fine.

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