The John Muir Trail is a 21-mile trail in the Cherokee National Forest, and it runs along the north side of the Hiwassee River in eastern Tennessee. This long-distance hike can be completed in one trip by experienced hikers, but many hikers choose to complete portions of it at a time. Your dog can hike the John Muir Trail with you, but they'll need to stay on a leash.
The first three-mile portion of the trail is a relatively easy section that even inexperienced hikers can complete. Once you reach the six-mile point, you'll come to a suspension footbridge that crosses the river by the Appalachia Power Plant.
At just shy of 12 miles, the John Muir Trails connects with the Coker Creek Trail. This will take you to the Coker Creek Scenic Area, which has stunning 40-foot waterfalls. Hikers are discouraged from swimming under the falls because there are often falling rocks. The trail continues for several more miles, and the end has been lengthened several times to accommodate visitors.
The John Muir Trail can be hiked throughout the year, but many visitors say spring or early fall is the best time. If you visit in the summer, you risk experiencing extreme heat. Luckily, there are plenty of places to take a dip along the hike, and you and your dog will enjoy refreshing yourselves in the cool water.
You'll need reliable footwear for this hike, and some visitors recommend using walking poles, although they aren't necessary. Be sure to pack plenty of water for you and your pup before the hike. Remove any waste you bring into the park and be sure to always clean up after your pet.The John Muir Trail is a moderate hike that you can enjoy with your family, and you and your pup will have a blast exploring the mountains of Tennessee together.