All About Dog Friendly Trails in the Smoky Mountains

February 24, 2021

Many people want to bring their pooch with them on vacation, and we don’t blame them! You can have a ton of fun with your dog in the area, including some dog friendly trails in the Smoky Mountains. There are only two trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that allow dogs. The other trails in the backcountry are off limits for dogs because they could bring disease into the habitat for wildlife, leave scents and scare off wildlife, or be prey to other animals. But, you can have a ton of fun on the trails that are pet friendly! Here’s everything you need to know about dog friendly trails in the Smoky Mountains.

Gatlinburg Trail

The Bridge along the Gatlinburg TrailThe Gatlinburg Trail is an easy pet friendly trail in the Smoky Mountains. It is located on the Tennessee side of the Smokies, and it is 3.8 miles roundtrip. This trail is right outside of downtown Gatlinburg, making it easy to get to. You’ll cross over the Little Pigeon River on a footbridge and other creeks where your dogs can explore. You and your dog will have fun roaming through the forest and seeing birds, squirrels, and possibly other animals, including other dogs hiking the trail! There are old remains of homesteads and a few mountain views along this trail. You and your dog will have fun hiking Gatlinburg Trail!

Oconaluftee River Trail

Oconaluftee River Trail is located on the North Carolina side of the Smokies. This dog friendly trail in the Smoky Mountains is also considered easy at 3 miles roundtrip. It is off of Newfound Gap Road. You can check out the collection of log cabins and other structures before you head off on the trail. Once you’re on the path, you will follow alongside the river the entire hike. There are several huge trees along the hike, and in late April, you will see beautiful wildflowers along the path.

Other Places to Take Your Dog in the Smokies

Although these are the only pet friendly trails in the Smoky Mountains, there are plenty of other outdoor places you can enjoy spending time with your dog, in and out of the national park! Here are some other places to take your dog in the Smokies:

Picnic Areas

picnic table in the national parkAny of the picnic areas within the national park are dog friendly. Cades Cove has a huge picnic area near a creek. After you have a picnic here, you can drive around the Loop with your pooch in the car! Other picnic areas include Metcalf Bottoms and Look Rock.

Mynatt Park

Mynatt Park is a small park right outside of Gatlinburg. There is a paved walking trail where you can walk your dog, as well as a playground for kids and a small creek that runs through the park. You’ll enjoy spending time outside at Mynatt Park!

Patriot Park

patriot parkAnother small park that is pet friendly is Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge. This park is right next to the Old Mill Square, so you can check out the grist mill, as well as walk around the paved pathway or sit by the river and take in the view.

Petsafe Unleashed Dog Park

A place just meant for dogs is the Petsafe Unleashed Dog Park in Sevierville. There are two sections: one for small breeds and one for large breeds. Your dog can be off the leash since it is enclosed. You’ll meet all kinds of other dogs and people, plus get some much needed exercise in!

These dog friendly trails in the Smoky Mountains are a great way to spend some time in the national park. Want to know where else you should take your dog? Here are the places where dogs are allowed in the national park: