I partnered with Hotels.com to bring you this dog-friendly guide to Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Stretching the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is known for its diversity of plants and animals, Appalachian mountain culture and beautiful scenery. It is one of the most visited national parks in the country.
Of course, a trip to the Great Smoky Mountain with a dog means you have to make some adjustments to your travel plans, as this is a national park. Fortunately, it still has a lot to do with your pooch nearby.
Learn more in this pet guide for Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains.
Pet rules in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Since the Great Smokies are located in a national park, dog owners can expect some stricter rules when they decide to visit the park with their pets.
As with all national parks, the rules for dogs remain the same:
Dogs should stay on the hood at all times Do not leave your pet unattended Clean up after your pet (which is given no matter where you travel) Areas suitable for dogs are limited to paved paths only
In The Great Smokies National Park, dogs are allowed in the following areas:
Campsites Picnic areas Along the roads
Hiking suitable for dogs in the Great Smoky National Park
If you travel to Gatlinburg with a dog, the tourism opportunities are very limited, given the fact that the city is surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are only two trails in the park that allow dogs.
For an easy walk, the Gatlinburg Trail is one of two trails in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park that allows dogs. The trail starts from the visitor center The Sugarlands and follows the Little One. Pigeon River on a mostly flat and wooded path.
Along the path you will find the remains of foundations and chimneys of old homes. The total mileage is about 4 miles back and forth.
Okonalufti River Trail
The other dog trail in Great Smokies is the Oconaluftee River Trail. The three millionth return trip starts from the Oconaluftee visitor center across the river of the same name. You will find beautiful views of the river and a wooded trail just outside Cherokee, North Carolina.
For a longer walk just outside the national park, the Townsend Trail in Townsend, TN is a short drive from Gatlinburg. The 9-mile cycling and walking trail follows the Little River and passes a number of small shops, restaurants and historical sites.
Other activities suitable for dogs in Gatlinburg
Although hiking opportunities are limited, there are a number of other activities available for those traveling to Gatlinburg with their dog.
Small pigeons river pipeline
For just $ 20 a person, you can rent an inner tube from the Rat River and float down the Little Pigeon River in Townsend. For an additional $ 5, you can rent a dog tube and sail in the Outpost A section. The company recommends tying your dog to your tube and sells leashes for $ 5.
Cades Cove Loop Road
This 11-mile scenic drive is a great way to enjoy some of the highlights of Smoky National Park with your pet. Travel through the lush green hills and see the restored building, stables and a working mill. Pets are not allowed in any of the historic buildings, but the one-lane road often means slow driving with a lot of stopping and starting.
Watch out for wildlife, including deer, coyotes, moose, foxes and black bears as you make your way through the cycle.
In a number of Great Smoky National Park there are a number of picnic areas that allow dogs, including chimney tops, Metcalf Bottoms and Greenbrier. Chimney tops are one of the most popular picnic spots, so it may be small for some dogs.
Metcalf Bottoms is located by the Little River, where your puppy can cool off on a hot day. Greenbrier is relatively quiet compared to other picnic areas.
Hotels suitable for dogs in Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg has a handful of pet hotels located in the city, as well as a number of pet cabins and rental houses.
Since traveling today looks a little different than normal, I recommend that you keep in mind the safety and security of others. Please travel responsibly.
If you do decide to travel during a pandemic, here’s how I recommend doing so safely:
Wear a face mask. Wear hand sanitizer and wash your hands regularly Check the official websites before your trip for the latest updates on policies, closures and the state of local business. Refuel before you leave Bring your own food and limit travel to local shops Book a hotel with a free cancellation in case you need to change your plans
Vista Park DoubleTree
The spacious rooms at the recently refurbished Vista Park have a private balcony with stunning views of the Great Smoky Mountain. Dogs are welcome with an additional $ 35 per pet, per day fee. DoubleTree allows dogs to be left unattended in the room, provided they are in a crate.
Resort on the river terrace
This resort and conference center is located in the center of Gatlinburg and serves as a great base for city entertainment, access to the national park and Hollywood. River Terrace allows two dogs under £ 60 per unit and a pet cleaning fee of $ 100. Typical breed restrictions apply.
Jackson mountain lodges
If you prefer to stay in a cabin or home, Jackson Mountain Homes offers several affordable options for those traveling with pets. Accommodations are located in and around Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
Friendly campsite camping in Gatlinburg
Camping is always a great option for those traveling with dogs, as most campsites tend to allow pets, even in national parks. Bring Fido has a complete list of camping options in and around the Great Smoky Mountains.