Dog hiking with owner
September 9, 2022

Are dogs allowed in the Smoky Mountain National Park? The short answer to this question is yes! We want them to enjoy the picturesque nature scenery of the park with their owners. Even so, there are a few guidelines you must follow during your visit to ensure the safety of yourself, your pet, other visitors, and the wildlife who call the park home!

1. Hiking Trails

There are two dog friendly hiking trails in the Smoky Mountain National Park: The Oconaluftee Trail and The Gatlinburg Trail. These trails consist of flat terrain and a short distance. One reason that dogs are not permitted on any other trails in the park is because all of them have varying terrain. You would not want to risk your dog getting hurt on a trail that is more hilly or rocky. Second, all the trails have a great variety of wildlife. A dog’s barking could be a disturbance to them and be the cause for potentially dangerous situations. Uncontrolled dogs can pose an even greater threat. They can get into the path of wildlife as well as that of other visitors to the park. That is why all dogs must remain on a leash that is no more than 6 feet in length on the trails they are permitted.

2. Campgrounds

tent on campsite

Camping is great for dogs. Being out in nature is much better than being crammed in a hotel room. There is plenty of room for exercise. You and your dog will love being away from the hustle and bustle of the city and in the quietness of nature. That is why dogs are permitted on all campgrounds, picnic areas, and roads along the park! Whether you are on the campgrounds or the trails, make sure to clean up after your pet. The beauty of the park is timeless and we want it to stay beautiful for years to come.

3. Other Helpful Information

Never leave your pet unattended in vehicles or RV’s. The temperatures in the park can get either very hot or very cold. Both conditions harm your pet. If you are walking your dog in hot weather, make sure you have plenty of water. Dogs get hot and tired in the sun just as we do. It can be even more dangerous for them because they are unable to tell us how they are feeling. Additionally, when walking in the picnic areas and the roads leading into the trail, make sure the ground is not too hot for your dog’s paws. Remember, if you can’t leave your hand on the pavement for at least 10 seconds, it is too hot for your dog to walk on! On the other hand, if you’re hiking in the colder months, keep your dog warm by limiting their time outside. Make sure to watch out for snow and ice on the trails. No matter when you are hiking, remember to bring your camera! The pretty nature scenery can make for a great photo opportunity!

Now that you know the answer to the question, “Are dogs allowed in the Smoky Mountain National Park,” it’s time to make sure you have all the info you need to guarantee a safe visit! Read about more guidelines for having pets in the park!