Outward Hounds Hiking Club

Thank you for your interest in our Outward Hounds Hiking Club. It’s a great way for the dogs in our care to get a break from the hustle and bustle of the BWAR adoption center, and get the necessary exercise to help them stay physically and mentally fit. Their well-being is important to us, and we hope that you can take the time to explore with us the forests and parks in our area, and give a dog this much needed time out and about!


How Does The Outward Hounds Hiking Club Benefit the BWAR Dogs?

  • BWAR dogs learn to walk with different people and different dogs – building their socialization skills with both people and dogs
  • BWAR dogs become accustomed to riding in a car (and getting to go on a hike can be positive reinforcement for this experience)
  • Hikes give volunteers lots of opportunities to teach BWAR dogs “Trail Manners” (how to be behave) when on leash, meeting other dogs, runners, cyclists, etc. on the trail.
  • The Outward Hounds hikes are a great form of exercise, especially for the higher energy dogs.
  • The BWAR dogs learn to adapt to different environments / experiences since the hike locations vary.
  • The Outward Hounds hikes give the BWAR dogs visibility outside of the shelter (someone passed on the trail may be or know of a potential adopter
  • Going “off-site” can give BWAR dogs a break from the high level of stimulation typical in the shelter environment.



  • Outward Hounds (OH) Hikes begin at 9:00 am from Memorial Day Through Labor Day and at 10:00 am for the other months of the year. There is a hike every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. (When hikes begin at 9am, they typically conclude by 12:00 and hikes that begin at 10:00 typically conclude by 1:00)
  • Hikes are 3-5 miles in length (some hikes may be a little shorter or longer). Regular hikes are easy to moderate. Hiking trail locations include Blue Ridge Parkway, Montreat College/Black Mountain, NC Arboretum, Warren Wilson College, Biltmore Estate (the third Wednesday of each month)
  • Hikers must have completed the BWAR application process and our Shelter Dogs 101 class and then sign up through their Digital Cheetah accounts in advance of each hike.
  • The front desk will “check off” hikers from the sign up list as they arrive for the hike.
  • Upon arrival at the Adoption Center, hike leaders and/or staff will assist hikers with dog selection and harnessing. Carpooling on the hikes is encouraged but may be limited based on type/size of the dog so hikers should be prepared to drive his/her own car.
  • Two or more dogs cannot ride loose in one car. (ie, if 2 dogs ride in the same car, one or both must be crated)
  • Hike leaders will provide water for the dogs but hikers are also welcome to bring water and treats for his/her dog. Hike leaders will provide written directions to each hiking trail. (Hikers should bring whatever personal items are needed – ie, water, raincoat, etc.)
  • Hiking group size is limited to 15 hikers (plus hike leaders).
  • For the safety of BWAR dogs and our volunteers, children under 16 are not allowed on the hikes (there may be dogs on the hike that are not comfortable/nervous with children). Children between 16 and 18 years old may attend, but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Be cautious of leaving your vehicle in front of a dumpster, or loading dock for an extended period of time (this does not include while loading/unloading your canine partner for the day).
  • We would love to have you join our hikes, but before you go, please complete a volunteer application, watch the orientation video, and complete our Shelter Dogs 101 class. Then, you’re ready to go!
  • Visit the Club’s Facebook page for more information. We ask that you please leave your own pets at home as you give a fabulous adoptable dog a day to remember!

Questions should be directed to the Brother Wolf Volunteer Manager.