Located an hour south of Knoxville and an hour north of Chattanooga, Athens offers great pup-friendly destinations. Your pooch will also be well taken care of if he needs medical attention in Athens. There are six different veterinarian clinics available offering both emergency services and routine appointments.
When spending time with Fido, head over to the Veterans Memorial Park which features beautiful gardens and monuments to honor those who served in the military. Stroll around the park with your pooch and read about local history. You can also check out Denso Eco Park on Private Brand Way. This park offers peace and quiet if you are looking for a relaxing walk with just you and your pup. The walking trail is about a quarter of a mile, so you may want to walk around it several times for a good workout.
If you and your pooch love hiking, the Eureka Rail Trail can be accessed through the trailhead on East Madison Avenue near Prof Powers Park. You can walk along a well-maintained gravel trail that meanders through about five miles of woodlands and rural landscapes. You need to keep your pup on a leash, and you might see others out on horseback exploring the area. The trail is shaded, but you will want to bring some water bottles for you and Fido.
If you are looking for a central destination between two major cities, Athens can offer you and Fido several dog-friendly activities.
Located off Decatur Pike near North Mouse Creek, the Athens Regional Park is a wonderful family and Fido oriented park. There are several ball fields where your pooch can chase a ball or just roll around in the grass. A hiking trail offers a great path to walk through the area and get some exercise. If you are out with the children, they will have a blast at the playground, and you and your pup can sit on one of the benches and relax while they play. There are clean bathrooms and you can refill water bottles at the water fountain, but you will need to bring your own doggie waste bags.
Situated on East Madison Ave and Slack Road, your pooch will love visiting Prof Park and the Prof Park Dog Park. The dog park features two sections, one for small pups and one for larger dogs. You will need to keep your pooch on a leash as you walk to the area from the parking lot, but once inside the fenced area, Fido can run around and sniff all the trees and roll in the grass unhindered. You will need to bring your own water bottles, as the dog park doesn’t have access to drinking water. Another fun adventure you can have with Fido is visiting Mayfield Dairy Visitors Center near the park. You can relax on the covered porch with Fido and enjoy different flavors of ice-cream. Your pooch will love a pup cup and spending time with the family.
In downtown Athens, you can easily walk your pooch to the McMinn Field off Park Street and McMinn Avenue. The area offers several sports fields and you can walk your pup around the park while watching the games. Once you get bored of McMinn Field, walk a half a mile north and visit the JL Cook Memorial Park. This area features a paved walking path where you and Fido can get in some laps or relax on one of the benches. There are also two pooch-friendly motels in the area. Ingleside Motel welcomes pups of any size for a small fee, and Homestead Inn in Athens also allows pups to stay in the pet-friendly rooms.
Just fifteen miles north of Athens, Sweetwater is a fun town where you can spend time with your pup. If you are taking your family to the Lost Sea Adventure Cave, someone will need to stay with Fido since pups are not allowed on the tour, but pups are welcome on the grounds and on the nature trail. While strolling through the almost 1/3 mile trail, you and your pup can admire groups of plants that are considered some of the most diverse in the world. When you get hungry, head over to Hunter’s Bakery and Café where you can order soup, salad, burgers or a variety of other dishes. You and your pup will enjoy relaxing at one of the pet-friendly outdoor tables. If you need a place to stay – Days Inn Sweetwater welcomes two pups of any size for an additional fee.
If you are planning to spend time in the elite Tellico Village in Loudon about 25 miles north of Athens, the Rover Run Dog Park is a member only dog park, and your pup will need to be interviewed and pay a fee before being allowed to use the area. Pup parents who are looking for a “Country Club” atmosphere for their pooch will enjoy the spacious area divided into two sections, and there is water available for the pups and restrooms for pup parents. Pooch-friendly accommodations are also available in Loudon. Check out the Inn of Loudon where two pups of any size are welcome or the La Quinta Inn & Suites where Fido can stay with no additional fee.