There are a total of two dog friendly trails in the Smoky Mountains. The Smokies are one of the most visited National Parks in the United States.
Many National Parks prohibit dogs and the Smoky Mountains are no exception. This helps prevent disease, disturbance, and threat to local wildlife.
These trails are an easy combination of sidewalk and dirt hiking treks. Each of them are out and back paths. You will enjoy views of the river, history, and nature. We also included our favorite hike just a short drive from the Smokies.
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The Gatlinburg Trail
The Gatlinburg Trail is a 3.8 mile almost entirely flat walk along the river side. We walked to the visitor center and back on this trail.
Dog Friendly Trails in the Smoky Mountains: Oconaluftee River Trail
The home of the second dog friendly trails in the Smoky mountains is in Cherokee North Carolina. There is a large parking lot to start your hike across the street. This is an easy and flat 3 mile out and back trail.
The trail ends at the old farm village, Oconaluftee Visitors center and museum. Unfortunately, dogs are not welcome in this area.
Alternative Hiking Spot: Nantahala National Forest
In a short 30 minute drive from Bryson City is the Nantahala National Forest. The day we decided to take on this moderate hike the main road was closed for construction. Therefore, we had to park at the Duke Energy lot and take the Nantahala River Bike/Bartram Trail to the beginning to Bartram Falls. That added almost 2 miles to this trek.
Once we crossed the road/railroad we followed the river taking us off trail right from the start. However, we saw some beautiful waterfalls. We decided to turn around to find the actual trail when it got too steep to climb.
There were trail markers crossing the river. Once we made it across there was a steady incline from there. We had to stop short since we were running out of day light. Even though we didn’t make it to the end it was a fun day full of scenery. In conclusion, we will be going back to finish this hike.