Activities For Dogs In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Introduction

Located near the  eastern border of Tennessee and the western line of North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most visited park in the United States, and its breathtaking beauty is only a small reason for this. The highest point of the park is Clingman's Dome, which stretches 6,643 feet into the heavens. Furthermore, the beautiful wildlife - from deer and elk to black bears - fascinate visitors who often have up-close experiences with these animals. There are also many historical buildings preserved within the park. The walking trails of the park are second to none, and, the natural streams throughout the park only add to the beauty of the area.

Walk the Trails

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
30 Minutes
Items needed
Dog Leash
Dog Waste Bags
Activity description
The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, like many other large national parks, is also a wildlife reserve. This is great news for the animals therein - some of which faced extinction at one time - but there are a few rules for bringing pets into the park. One of those is to stay on the trails designated for both human and dog use. These trails are the Gatlinburg Trail and the Oconaluftee River Trail. Be aware that there will be bicyclists along this trail. In addition, if you visit either of these walking trails, be prepared to clean up after your pet using dog waste bags.
Step
1
Be prepared
One rule of the park strictly enforced is that of dogs wearing leashes at all times. If you happen to be camping, you will want to suit your pup up before hitting the trail. Although the terrain is not tough, if your pup is not accustomed to walking a great deal, you might want to put paw wax on his feet. Next, you will want to make sure he is snug in a harness (this will make controlling him while on the hiking trail easier). Grab some water bottles, and you are ready to hike!
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2
Enjoy the scenery
There is a plethora of wildlife present in the Great Smoky Mountain Park. These animals range from squirrels to black bear and deer. There are also some elk and buffalo. One reason the aforementioned trails are open to dogs and bicycles is the fact that many animals are not bedded down near these walking trails.
Step
3
Be sure to clean up
Keep the dog waste bags handy during your time on the trail. Another strictly enforced rule deals with cleaning up after your dog while on the trail. Furthermore, you need to always be in control of your dog. There are some beautiful birds and squirrels in the park, and, it is in the nature of our pups to want to chase these animals.
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Fetch

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
30 Minutes
Items needed
rubber chew toy
nylon rope toy
tennis ball
Activity description

Many people camp in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and dogs are welcome at all campgrounds in the park. In order to help your pup burn off some energy, you can play a raucous game of fetch with him. Certainly, this game is best played in an open area outdoors in permissible weather. Between playing in the streams of the park and walking on the open trails, your pup will be ready for some rest at the end of the day. 

Step
1
Secure the area
Technically, your dog is supposed to be on a leash in the camping area. However, you might be able to rope off an area near your campsite just big enough for a spot to play. Grab your throw toy, and get ready to play!
Step
2
Introduce the game
Call your pup. Offer the toy, and ask excitedly if he is ready to play. Generally, if this is the same toy you play fetch with at home, he will recognize the toy and he will know you want to engage him in a game of fetch.
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3
Play the game
Because you may be in proximity to other campers, you may not be able to play the way you normally would - you might have to throw a shorter distance, or you might have to incorporate a buddy to catch the toy and have your dog run between the two of you. Regardless, your pup is in for some excellent play time.
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Tour The Area

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Easy
1 Hour
Items needed
chew toys
leash
Activity description
When considering that there are only two trails in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park that allow dogs (as well as the fact that dogs must be leashed throughout the park), you might want to consider visiting a local dog park as a change of pace for your pup. There are several dog parks in the Gatlinburg area; some are leashed, while others allow you to let your pup off the leash for some fun play. In lieu of steps for playing with your pup, below the author will list three attractions which are dog-friendly. Surprisingly, there are many pet-friendly attractions and a leash-free dog park in the area.
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1
Gatlinburg Sky Lift
The Gatlinburg Sky Lift is much like riding a ski lift to get to the peak of Crockett Mountain. If you don't believe your dog will sit still the ride, then you might want to avoid this attraction. The Gatlinburg Sky Lift is a dog-friendly attraction based in downtown Gatlinburg. Your pup can join you as you enjoy the beautiful views from atop Crockett Mountain. Once you get to the top of the mountain, you can walk the peak and enjoy the scenery. Your pup should stay leashed at all times as there are many tourists on the lift at any time.
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2
Patriot Park
Patriot Park is a dog park located in Pigeon Forge (which is less than twenty miles from Gatlinburg). It is located near the Old Mill Square, and there is plenty of space for your pup to run and play. There is also a half-mile walking track inside the park. There are areas in which your dog can be unleashed.
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3
Sevierville Petsafe Unleashed Dog Park
Sevierville, TN is less than twenty miles from Gatlinburg, and it is worth the drive to allow your pup to run unleashed in this park. Water is available for your pup, and there are areas designated for large and small dogs. The park also features an agility course. A covered area is also provided for those who wish to unleash their dogs and watch them play.
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More Fun Ideas...

See the Sights

Dogs are welcome at many localities around Gatlinburg (the site of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park). The Village Shops in downtown Gatlinburg allow owners to bring their dogs to the outdoor store. Pets are also permitted at the outdoor dining patio of Howard's Restaurant.

Cade's Cove Loop

Does your pup love to ride with the car window down? Cade's Cove Loop provides the perfect opportunity for this relaxing activity. This motor trail has many twists and turns that require the driver to slow down and take the sights in.

Conclusion

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is a wonderful place to camp and enjoy the outdoors. It is also friendly to dogs, who will find themselves having a ball on the two dog-friendly trails: the Gatlinburg Trail and the Oconaluftee River Trail. Always remember to keep your dog leashed for his safety. Your pup is sure to enjoy this neck of the Great Outdoors.