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Can Dogs Go To The Smoky Mountains?

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Imagine traversing the beautiful landscapes of the Smoky Mountains with your furry friend by your side. But is it possible? Can dogs go to the Smoky Mountains?

Bringing your furry friend along for a family vacation or getaway can add to the fun. But before going make sure to do your research as there are some restrictions and guidelines that you need to follow in order to enjoy the great outdoors of the Smoky Mountains.

Can dogs go to the Smoky Mountains?
Can dogs go to the Smoky Mountains (1)

For those living in the Southeast, one of the most popular mountain ranges to explore is the Smoky Mountains. With its lush green forests, stunning vistas and plenty of wildlife, it’s no surprise that people wonder if they can bring their dogs along for an adventure.

In this post we answer the question, Can dogs go to the Smoky Mountains?

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Can dogs go to the Smoky Mountains?

Yes, dogs are permitted in the Smoky Mountains, but there are specific guidelines in place to ensure the safety and comfort of both pets and park visitors.

  • Dogs are allowed in campgrounds, picnic areas, and along roads, provided they are kept on a leash not exceeding 6 feet in length.
  • Dogs are not allowed on park trails except for the Gatlinburg Trail and the Oconaluftee River Trail.
  • Pet handlers are responsible for immediately collecting and disposing of pet excrement in trash receptacles.
  • While pets can accompany visitors, they must not be left unattended in vehicles or RVs.

There are several reasons why dogs are prohibited on the National Park trails, primarily due to the presence of wildlife that could be disturbed or attacked by pets and vice versa.

Furthermore, pets have the potential to introduce diseases to the wildlife populations within the park. Dogs, even small ones, can be a source of fear for many people, particularly children.

Can dogs go to the Smoky Mountains?
Can dogs go to the Smoky Mountains?

If you plan on bringing your dog with you when visiting the Smoky Mountains, confirm that you are adhering to all regulations prior to your arrival.

Can I take my dog to Pigeon Forge?

Yes, Pigeon Forge is a pet-friendly city that welcomes furry visitors. There are several activities and attractions in Pigeon Forge that pets, particularly dogs, can enjoy:

  • Patriot Park. A nice spot to stroll with your dog, appreciating the beautiful landscape and war memorials.
  • The Island. An outdoor shopping center where well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome. But it depends on the discretion of each shop and restaurant whether they permit animals inside their establishments. Service animals are always embraced, although there may be restrictions on their access to certain rides.
  • Doggywood at Dollywood.Although pets are not allowed inside Dollywood (with the exception of service animals), you can still bring your dogs along by taking advantage of Doggywood. Doggywood is conveniently located adjacent to Guest Services at Dollywood’s Front Gate. It opens 30 minutes before the park opens, so arriving early allows you to drop off your pup without losing any precious time inside the park.
  • Cades Cove Loop Road. A popular scenic drive where pets are allowed in cars and alongside the road.

Is Gatlinburg a dog-friendly city?

Gatlinburg is indeed a dog-friendly city. It offers a host of pet-friendly accommodations and attractions that ensure a memorable experience for both you and your furry friend.

  • Exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While pets are not allowed on most of the trails, the Gatlinburg Trail is an exception and offers a 1.9-mile walk, perfect for a leisurely stroll with your dog.
  • Gatlinburg Skylift. Experience the Skylift, where you and your furry friend can ascend to the mountaintop together. Take a leisurely stroll while enjoying panoramic views of downtown Gatlinburg. Remember to keep your pet securely leashed and held while riding the lift.
  • Mynatt Park and Mills Park. These two parks in Gatlinburg are dog-friendly and features playgrounds, and picnic areas. Both parks offer plenty of room for your pup to explore while also providing great views of the city.
  • Parkway. Explore the Parkway with your dogs and discover a host of pet-friendly shops such as Paws n’ Claws Pet Fashion and Bonediggity Barkery & Gifts.
  • Pet-Friendly Restaurants. There are several restaurants in Gatlinburg that allow pets on their patios or outdoor seating areas. Enjoy a meal with your pup at Tennessee Jed’s, Tom & Earl’s Back Alley Grill, and the Fox & Parrot Tavern.

Smoky Mountains dog-friendly cabins

After a day filled with adventure in the Smoky Mountains, there’s nothing better than retreating to a cozy, dog-friendly cabin (up to 2 under 75 lbs.), like the Bear’s Wilderness Lodge at GSM Family Vacations!

This luxurious mountain retreat not only welcomes humans but also their canine companions, allowing the whole family to revel in the comfort and joy of a mountain get-away.

Smoky Mountains 7-Day Itinerary

I understand how difficult it can be to plan a trip, especially if it’s your first time going. That’s why I created this 7-day itinerary for the Smoky Mountains. It outlines all of the best places to go in the area and comes with insider tips that will save you a lot of stress–trust me, they saved me when I was planning my own trip!

  • Our 7-day itinerary takes you to the best places in the Smoky Mountains.
  • You’ll get to see all the best sights and attractions with driving directions
  • The itinerary is designed to show you the most scenic routes.
  • Packing Checklist for every season.
  • You’ll have everything you need to make the most of your trip.
  • Insider Tips!

Here’s a quick overview of our Smoky Mountains 7-Day Itinerary.

  • Day 1: Cades Cove Loop
  • Day 2: Rich Mountain Road
  • Day 3: Cataloochee Valley
  • Day 4: Newfound Gap Road
  • Day 5: Roaring Fork Motor Trail
  • Day 6: Little River Road
  • Day6: Foothills Parkway

Get This FREE Smoky Mountains Checklist Now!

Related Smoky Mountains Resources


If you’re planning to take your dogs camping, head on to our guide on the Best Smoky Mountains Campgrounds.

Take incredible photos of your pets while exploring the Smokies with the help of these tips on photographing wildlife and pets.

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