9 Places You Can Take Your Dog in Gatlinburg

As the most popular gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg is a bustling town that caters to tourists. Unique gift shops, restaurants, and attractions line the streets of this small city in the mountains. Because of the mountainous landscape and plentiful outdoor activities, many travelers bring their four-legged family members with them.

Despite the hustle and bustle of greater Gatlinburg, many activities and establishments are dog-friendly. Here are some pooch-approved activities and places in Gatlinburg.

Places You Can Take Your Dog in Gatlinburg

1. Gatlinburg SkyLift Park

The Gatlinburg SkyLift Park is a must-do activity for all visitors! The tradition started in the early 1950s when the chair lift opened to the public. Since then, the park has expanded and now includes the SkyBridge, a 700-foot bridge that sits 1,800 feet above sea level over a deep valley.

If you’re a dog owner you may be wondering, are dogs allowed on the Gatlinburg skylift? Dogs are permitted throughout SkyLift Park, but beware this experience may not be for every dog. Your dog must ride the chair lift with you to the top of the mountain. The SkyBridge and chair lift may be too much excitement and fear for certain dogs due to the height.

2. Oconaluftee River Trail

Oconaluftee River Trail | image by Mike Kalasnik via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Unfortunately, most of the trails in the national park are off-limits to your four-legged adventure buddy. Oconaluftee River Trail is one of two dog-friendly trails within the park. This 1.5-mile trail travels along the river, allowing you and your pooch the opportunity to revel in the cool forest and sounds of the rippling water.

During the summer, the canopy of the forest provides a welcome retreat from the Tennessee sun. The trail is relatively flat throughout its entire course, with a few gentle hills and a single road crossing. Great for hiking with your dog.

Visitors enjoy the flora and fauna of the area, along with Cherokee signs and culture delicately placed throughout the trail.

3. Gatlinburg Trail

The other dog-friendly trail within the national park offers serene views of the river. This flat trail is 1.9-miles long through the forest. Like the Oconaluftee River Trail, visitors have no shortage of sights during their hike.

Across the trail, you’ll find old homesites, foundations, and even chimneys to give you a glimpse into the area’s rich history.

4. Bonediggity Barkery & Gifts

Yes, you read that correctly! Bonediggity is an exciting dog-centric shop in the Village Shops of Gatlinburg. While Gatlinburg is known for its gift shops, this one caters specifically to your four-legged friend. Stop in and let your pal pick out his own souvenir!

Your pup can choose from toys, clothes, and treats — possibly his favorite selection in the entire store! For humans, you can shop for an assortment of dog accessories to make your trip easier. Strollers, collars, and leashes are all available for purchase.

Bonediggity might just be your dog’s favorite memory from the trip. It’s a win-win for you and your furry friend!

5. The Village Shops

gatlinburg the village shops
The Village in Gatlinburg | image by David Fulmer via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Bonediggity lies within the Village Shops, but it’s not the only dog-friendly shop to choose from. While visiting the many retail stores throughout this village, just ask if the store is dog-friendly.

The nearly 30 shops are in a wooded area perfect for a stroll. Simply Animals is another dog-centric store located in this adventurous retail area. The village hosts a fountain area, a walking area, and plenty of spots to stop and rest for a minute.

6. Sugarlands Distilling Company

Moonshine and Tennessee go hand-in-hand. If visiting a moonshine distillery is on your bucket list for your Gatlinburg trip, Sugarlands is among those that are proudly dog-friendly.

Sugarlands Distilling Company offers live music, indoor and outdoor tours, and plenty of other activities where your pooch can walk beside you. Leash up your pal and head out for a tasting, just remember to bring some water for your pup!

7. The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum

There’s a museum for everything, and Gatlinburg plays host to several. The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum houses an intensive collection of these standard household goods.

This museum isn’t just dog-friendly — numerous types of furry, scaly, and feathered visitors have come through to enjoy the massive collection this museum hosts.

8. Smoky Mountain Wax & Company

This favorite candle shop is also dog-friendly. Candles, teas, and other fun souvenirs line this quintessential gift shop. Put your pooch on a leash and enjoy all the goodies throughout the store, making sure to give a good sniff at the scented candles. This candle shop is located on the parkway, allowing for an easy stroll to other shops and restaurants.

9. Doggy wood

Doggywood | image by Joel Kramer via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

If traveling just outside of Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge, Dollywood is likely on your itinerary. While your pooch can’t go into Dollywood with you, Doggywood is an option for your pet to enjoy a little fun and pampering while you’re enjoying the thrill of coasters! Doggywood is open specifically to guests of Dollywood.

A Dog-friendly Smoky Mountain Vacation

Several restaurants, shops, and attractions are open to leashed pets. When traveling to Gatlinburg and the surrounding area, it’s best to call each shop ahead of time so you can make an itinerary for you and your pup.

Because Gatlinburg is so populated with tourists, ensure your pup doesn’t get overstimulated with all the sights, sounds, and smells.