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6 Dog-Friendly Trails in Smoky Mountains in 2023 (With Pictures)


Apr 26, 2023
cropped woman running on a trail in the woods with her energetic dog on harness and leash

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Every pet lover wants to take their pets with them on vacation, including the Smoky Mountains and the Smoky Mountains National Park. However, only two trails inside the park allow pets: the Oconaluftee River Trail and The Gatlinburg Trail.

Luckily, a few trails just outside the park or nearby will allow you to take your furry friend with you. In the article below, we’ll give you six of the best dog-friendly trails in the Smoky Mountains and surrounding area.

divider-pawThe 6 Dog-Friendly Trails in the Smoky Mountains

1. The Oconaluftee River Trail

  • One of the only two trails inside the park dogs are allowed
  • Dogs must be leashed at all times; the leash must be no longer than 6 feet
  • 5-mile trail with gorgeous views
  • The route is pretty flat, so a great choice for beginning hikers and their pets
  • Has gorgeous wildflowers during the summer, and the trail goes along the river

2. The Gatlinburg Trail

  • Considered to be easy to hike
  • Dogs must be on leashes no longer than 6 feet at all times
  • 9 miles of gorgeous scenery
  • One of the only two trails inside the park where dogs are allowed
  • Follows the river, and there are spots your dog can take a quick swim

3. Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge

  • Ideal trail for beginners
  • A 0.5-mile trail with several war memorials to see
  • Dogs much be leashed at all times
  • Follows the river as it snakes through town
  • Don’t forget to take your dog to see the historic Old Mill, built in the 1830s

4. Mynatt Park

  • Considered to be an easy hike
  • Dogs must be leashed at all times
  • Located right outside of the Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Features playgrounds, picnic tables, and a covered pavilion
  • Has a few scenic trails to walk your dog

5. Townsend Trail

🗺️ Address: 📍Townsend Tennessee
🕐 Open Times: Year-round
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Has a 9-mile bicycle trail that serves as a dog-walking trail
  • Dogs must be leashed at all times
  • Just a short drive from Pigeon Ford
  • The route follows the Little River in Townsend and leads to the hub with restaurants, shops, and more
  • Located just outside of the Smoky Mountains National Park

6. Wear Farm City Park in Pigeon Ford

🗺️ Address: 📍Pigeon Ford, TN 37863
🕐 Open Times: Year-round
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • This is a newly constructed park
  • Dogs must be on leashes at all times
  • An excellent place for dogs to get exercise
  • The park also has shelters, many walking trails, and playgrounds for pet owners
  • Gorgeous views



While there are only two trails where you can take your pet in the Smoky Mountains National Park, a few areas right outside the park allow pets. These parks and trails require that you keep your pet on a leash at all times, not only for their protection but the protection of others.

As with any park, trail, or any place that allows you to have your dog, make sure that you clean up after your dog and always take a leash with you so that these parks and trails will continue to be open for many years to come for you and your furry friend.

Featured Image Credit: knelson20, Shutterstock

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