It is difficult to find pet friendly trails in the Smoky Mountains, but we are here to help you and your furry friends make the most out of your visit. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed on the trails in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. This is due to conservation concerns for the flora and fauna in the park, along with safety concerns for your pets and other visitors. However, there are still many great ways to enjoy the outdoors and other amenities of the area with your pets! You can still explore the great outdoors with your pets, even if they can’t enter the park. Pets are allowed in the camping, picnic, and parking areas along the road entrances. Locations like Deep Creek Campground are wonderful to visit. Stroll through the shady campsites and along the sidewalks, watch tubers float by, and allow you pet to splash along the edges of the creek.
Downtown Bryson City, NC has quite a few restaurants that feature outdoor, pet friendly seating. Anthony’s, Mountain Perks, Nick and Nates, High Test Deli, and the Charleston Food Wagon are a few options available to you. Our breweries also include pet friendly seating. Both Mountain Layers and Nantahala Brewing have outdoor seating open to dogs. Bryson City Outdoors is by far the most welcoming to pets, allowing them on their spacious outdoor patio as well as indoors. Great gear and beers on tap and there are always dogs at the store! Bryson City Outdoors and Mountain Layers usually have a food truck parked outside most nights during the warmer months so they are also great locations for dining with your pets. We hope you and your pets have a great time exploring this beautiful area.
Bryson City Island Park is another excellent spot to visit. Several paths meander through the small island surrounded by the Tuckasegee River. Pack a picnic and enjoy watching kayakers and fly fishermen work their way down the river. This park has the added benefit of being located right in downtown Bryson City so you are within walking distance to several pet friendly establishments in town.
The Oconaluftee River Trail is located in the heart of downtown Cherokee NC. This is an excellent pet friendly trail and the kids will love it too! You can walk the paves trails, step off the path into a bamboo forest, or dip your toes in the cool and clear waters of the Oconaluftee River!
Located between Bryson City and Cherokee on Highway 19, you will find this to be some of the flattest and most pristine farmland around. This is a great place to take your pets if your heading in and out of Bryson City. You may even see wild Elk if you go at dusk or dawn. Be sure to stop by Darnell Farms next door and grab some local produce, Dream Whips, and more!
My favorite pet friendly trail in the Smoky Mountains is the Oconaluftee River Trail. The path starts at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and entrance to the Mountain Farm Museum. This open-air museum allows visitors a glimpse of early farm life in the Great Smoky Mountains and is a destination worth visiting all on its own. The trail follows the river behind this recreated homestead and on through the forest. In total it is around 1.5 miles in length so you will enjoy a 3 mile round trip. The path is mostly covered with small gravel and is an easy rated trail. Spring offers a lovely display of wildflowers including the Great Smoky Mountain National Park’s beloved Trillium flowers. Throughout the year this is also an excellent trail for elk viewing as they are known to often visit the open fields along the trail and near the museum.
This is a very interesting hiking area in Sylva NC if your up for a challenge. The conservation property was an old watershed and you will see remnants of this throughout the park. There is a main trail that will take you to Pinnacle Peak. It's a very rocky and extremely steep trail for two miles. There is a lower section of trails that are easy and would be a great place to walk the dogs and enjoy the small dam and rushing streams. Check-out details on Hiking to The Pinnacle before heading out.
Looking for a log cabin in Cherokee NC that is pet friendly? Spectacular Valley Views is an authentic log cabin near Cherokee NC that is pet friendly! Minutes away from the Casino, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Bryson City NC, and all area attractions! One of the best friendly cabins in Cherokee NC near the casino for sure!
The Historic Ol Gun Range Cabin is a cabin in Cherokee NC that is pet friendly and has a unique history to it! Close to Cherokee NC, Bryson City, NC attractions and minutes from North Carolina entrances to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This secluded, pet friendly, hideaway will surely leave you and your family relaxed and rejuvenated!