The only thing better than exploring Gatlinburg yourself is exploring Gatlinburg with your four-legged friends. For dog owners, there is no shortage of fun to be had with your pup. We know that you want to include your dog in as many of your adventures as possible. Check out all the dog-friendly activities below.
For visitors and locals alike, there are so many ways to involve your dog in your East Tennessee experiences. Here are some of the best dog-friendly activities in Gatlinburg.
Take a Hike!
Gatlinburg and the surrounding area are renowned worldwide for being a hikers’ paradise. With waterfalls, wildflowers, and enchanting forests, the Great Smoky Mountain region is a dog walker’s dream. Remember to be prepared when walking your dog – always keep them on a leash, unless they’re in a designated off-leash area, and bring extra water and food to keep your dog energized throughout their outdoor adventure.
There are two paths in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that are dog-friendly. The Gatlinburg Trail is an easy, 2-mile trail that takes hikers alongside the Little Pigeon River. It’s located just outside of Gatlinburg, so you can walk to the trailhead from downtown. The Oconaluftee River Trail is another pet-friendly trail, known for the sheer variety of towering trees and delicate wildflowers growing alongside the river. This path also provides you with many opportunities to learn about the Cherokee people who have lived along the river for thousands of years.
Outside of the Smokies, Mynatt Park is a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of Gatlinburg. This park, more popular with locals than tourists, features many delightful walking trails that make for great sniffing for your pup. In the summer months, Mynatt Park is the perfect place to have a relaxing picnic while throwing the frisbee for your dog.
Fido-Friendly Fun on the Island
Tourists all over the Smokies are drawn to The Island, a hub for free fun (and great people watching) in nearby Pigeon Forge. With the iconic Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, Ole Smoky Mountain Moonshine tastings, and many kitschy shops and bites to eat, The Island makes a great family day out to Gatlinburg.
Luckily, you can bring your dog along to The Island, too! If you have a social pup, she will be excited to meet all the people and spend a day exploring with you. Many of the shops and restaurants are pet-friendly, and you can bring your dog along to the daily live music and entertainment spectacles. If you need a bite to eat, the Mellow Mushroom has a dog-friendly patio.
Take Rover Tubing
In the summertime, it’s hard to beat floating down a river in a tube, enjoying the sunshine. But have you ever heard of dog tubing? Smoky Mountain River Rat offers two different tubing experiences in nearby Townsend, Tennessee. For those with dogs, Outpost A is the obvious choice. This is because this is one of the only places in the region where you can go tubing with your dog.
That’s right – you can rent a special tube for your dog, and a tether to attach the dog’s tube to yours. Your dog will love floating down the river, stopping at the swimming holes, and spending some well-deserved family time with you. (For dogs who aren’t strong swimmers, we recommend picking up a doggy life jacket before tubing.)
People (and Dog) Watch on the Patio at Sugarland Cellars
We might be biased, but our absolute favorite way to enjoy time with our dog is sipping a delicious glass of wine, while people watching and dog spotting, on the patio of our very own Sugarland Cellars. Indulge in some of our award-winning wines while relaxing outdoors and watching the world go by. Can it get any better?
Of course, these are just some of the things that dog owners can look forward to when exploring Gatlinburg and the surrounding area. Whether you’re coming from out of town or you’re a local, there is so much to enjoy and look forward to with your dog all year round.