6 Places Dogs Are Allowed in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

August 27, 2018

Millions of visitors travel to the Great Smoky Mountains every year! Among those visitors many people bring along their beloved pets. Unfortunately, they are prohibited from many areas in the national park. Luckily though, there are still several places dogs are allowed in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that are still fun areas for you and your pup!

1. Gatlinburg TrailBridge gatlinburg trail

The Gatlinburg Trail is a great option if you are hoping to get in a nice walk with your pet! The trail is 1.9 miles one way from Sugarlands Visitor Center to the edge of Gatlinburg. The trail is a peaceful nature trail that follows along the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River. You can even see some leftover structures from old home sites along the trail.

2. Oconaluftee River Trail

The Oconaluftee River Trail is the second pet friendly trail where dogs are allowed in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This trail is 1.5 miles one way from the Oconaluftee Visitor Center to the edge of the city of Cherokee. The trail is relatively flat, and follows alongside the Oconaluftee River.

3. Chimney Tops Picnic Area

The Chimney Tops Picnic is a seasonal picnic area and is typically open March through November. From the picnic area you can see the top bluffs of the Chimneys, and it rests alongside the river. This is a good area to bring your pet as long they don’t become frantic around cars and other people as this area is popular.

4. Metcalf Bottoms

Metcalf Bottoms is a great place to bring your dog! The picnic area is open year round. The picnic area is located 13 miles from Gatlinburg traveling through the national park. It’s located beside the Little River. So during summer this is the perfect area to cool off with your pup! This is one of the best places that dogs are allowed in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that they will enjoy! 

Picnic area in the woods5. Greenbrier Picnic Area

The Greenbrier Picnic area is 6 miles from Gatlinburg, and is open year round. Highlights of the area include viewing seasonal wildflowers, spotting wildlife, fishing, swimming, and several picnic areas. The Greenbrier Picnic Area is a calm place to bring your pet to as it does typically have less traffic than other parts of the national park.


6. Cades Cove Campground

Cades Cove is an extremely popular destination in the Smoky Mountains, the campground included. Pets are only allowed in the Cades Cove Campground area. Here you can explore the campground, dip your toes in the creek, and even share an ice cream from the Cades Cove Campground store together.

There are other places dogs are allowed in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park including all campground and picnic areas in the park. However, even though few trails allow pets there is still plenty of fun to have with your pup! If you have a day you want to go hiking and let your pet rest then we invite you to explore some of the easy trails in the Smoky Mountains so you can have a nice hike without leaving your pet all day.