It’s well-known that there are limited trails in the Smoky Mountains that allow dogs, but if you wish to bring your four-legged friend along on your next Tennessee vacation, you still have plenty of options.
Here are some of the best dog-friendly places you can take your pup while you explore the Smoky Mountains around Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg:
Dollywood is one of the most popular destinations in Pigeon Forge, and while dogs are not allowed in the park (except for service animals), Dolly Parton knows that dogs are man’s best friend. Lookin’ at you, Cracker Jack.
That’s why Doggywood can host your dog for you while you and your family enjoy Dollywood or Dollywood’s Splash Country.
Doggywood is adjacent to Guest Services at Dollywood’s front gate. Dogs are hosted for the day from $25-35, depending on accommodations.
Space is limited, so reservations are highly recommended. For more information, visit Dollywood’s website.
10. Gatlinburg Trail
The Gatlinburg Trail is one of two walking paths where dogs are allowed in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This one-way trail is 1.9 miles long and travels from the Sugarlands Visitor Center to the outskirts of the city of Gatlinburg.
This trail is relatively flat, but it offers beautiful views of the river and several old homesites along the path. Visit nps.gov for more information.
9. Oconaluftee River Trail
The Oconaluftee River Trail is the second trail that allows dogs within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The trail is 1.5 miles one-way from the Oconaluftee Visitor Center to the outskirts of the city of Cherokee, N.C.
The trail is relatively flat, but it does have a few small hills. Visit nps.gov for more information.
8. Townsend Trail
The Townsend River Walk and Arboretum is located just on the outskirts of the Smoky Mountains in Townsend, Tenn. This trail is handicap accessible as well as pet friendly, and it’s open 7 days a week from dawn until dusk.
The Townsend River Walk and Arboretum has been certified by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council. The River Walk is a 3/10-mile stretch between the Little River and Highway 321 and is open to the public. For more information, visit their website.
7. River Rat Tubing
Floating down the river is one of the most relaxing, fun ways to cool down from the heat on your Tennessee vacation. River Rat Tubing offers a dog-friendly float on their Townsend Tubing Adventure. This family-friendly float has relaxing rapids, scenic views and a rock jump that is perfect for first-timers.
The float duration is typically about two hours. For more information, visit their website.
6. Sevierville’s PetSafe Unleashed Dog Park
Sevierville’s PetSafe Dog Park offers separate large and small dog areas along with dog agility equipment, water and observation cameras.
Wi-Fi and shaded seating areas are also available for the humans while the fur-kids play.
Pets must be vaccinated as required by city and state. The park is located at 1005 Park Rd, Sevierville TN 37862.
5. The Island in Pigeon Forge
The Island in Pigeon Forge is a great spot to explore in the Smokies. Home to the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, it has plenty of shops, dining areas, activities and rocking chairs to relax in while you watch The Island Show Fountain.
The best part is: Dogs (on leashes) are welcome on the property.
It’s important to note, though, that individual shops at The Island may not allow pets inside.
Mellow Mushroom at The Island does allow pets on the patio if you decide to dine there. Speaking of dining on a patio with your pup …
4. Restaurants with patios
As a general rule of thumb, many restaurants that have an outdoor patio will allow you bring your dog to dine with you. (But when in doubt, always check directly with the restaurant, as this is not always the case).
Some of the restaurants in the Smokies that have dog-friendly patios include:
- The Chop House (Tanger Outlets, Sevierville)
- Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant (The Apple Barn, Sevierville)
- Hard Rock Cafe (Pigeon Forge)
- Blue Moose Burgers & Wings (Pigeon Forge)
- Dick’s Last Resort (Pigeon Forge)
- Calhoun’s (Pigeon Forge)
- Mad Dog’s Creamery & Donuts (Gatlinburg)
- Crystelle Creek Restaurant & Grill (Gatlinburg)
- Howard’s Steakhouse (Gatlinburg)
- Fox & Parrot Tavern (Gatlinburg)
3. Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
Gatlinburg’s SkyLift Park, home of the famous SkyBridge, has re-implemented their dog-friendly policies right before the anticipation of the SkyTrail attraction, which is scheduled to open in spring of 2021.
SkyLift Park has a long history of going out of their way to accommodate our four legged furry friends. Prior to the fires in 2016 that burned down portions of the park, the attraction had allowed dogs to ride the SkyLift for a number of years.
As of today, dogs are allowed on the SkyLift, the SkyDeck, the SkyBridge and soon, they will be allowed on the SkyTrail. Dogs must be leashed at all times, and the owner must securely hold their dog while riding the SkyLift.
2. Moonshine distilleries
Moonshining in the Smokies is a popular activity, and luckily you do not need to leave your dog at home to sip on some moonshine. Some moonshine distilleries, such as Ole Smoky and Sugarlands, will allow dogs on the premises.
Yee-Haw Brewing in Pigeon Forge is also dog-friendly.
1. Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge
Patriot Park is located along the banks of the Little Pigeon River, close to the Old Mill Square. The park is dedicated to veterans from Sevier County and has a 1/2-mile walking trail.
Patriot Park is home to many activities throughout the year and is located at 186 Old Mill Ave., Pigeon Forge TN 37863.
Tips for bringing your dog to the Smokies
As a general rule of thumb, dogs are allowed in campgrounds, picnic areas and along roads, but must be kept on a leash at all times. According to the National Park Service, dogs are prohibited on most trails because dogs can:
- carry disease
- chase and threaten wildlife
- bark and disturb the wilderness
- become prey for larger predators
Remember to follow local and state guidelines, keep your doggos up to date on their vaccinations and enjoy your trip to the Smokies!