Are you all set for your vacation to the most popular tourist spots in Tennessee? Is there anything or anyone you may be forgetting? Your adorable, cuddly friend at home, perhaps?
Not that vacationing alone does not make for a great experience, but vacationing with your friends or family makes your travel moments the most memorable of your lifetime. There is nothing like spending good quality time with those you hold close to your heart- and pets also fit right into that description.
Your pets are like your family; they comfort you when you feel dejected, play with you when you feel excited, and shower you with unconditional love whenever they are with you. All pet owners feel something amiss when they are away from their pets for a long time, so why not take them with you?
Taking your furry companions along for vacation may come with its own set of challenges. Your pet may feel uncomfortable in an unfamiliar place, get cranky over early morning trips, or even refuse to do anything they do not want to do. However, with planning, travelling with your pet can make for a worthwhile experience.
Accommodation for Your Dog
Like every human being, animals also need time to adjust to change. While you will not be able to control your pet’s mood and temperament when you take them to a new place, making their trip as comfortable for them as possible can make dealing with them a lot easier. Booking quality pet-friendly lodgings is one way to make that happen. Look for pet-friendly cabins in Pigeon Forge so your pets can comfortably stay with you throughout your trip.
Once you get your accommodations covered, you can begin planning all the activities where your pet can join you for all the fun parts. To make planning for your stops easier, we have listed some activities you can enjoy with your pet in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
Hikes in Great Smoky National Park
If you have been looking forward to a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains for a while now, you will be glad to know that they have hiking options available for pet owners. One trail that allows dogs is the Gatlinburg Trail. The 1.9-mile trail is one of the best places to go hiking with dogs. Starting from the Sugarlands Visitor Center, the trail offers gorgeous views of the Little Pigeon River, and you are surrounded by a sublime forest.
The other trail is the Oconaluftee River Trail, approximately a one-hour drive from Pigeon Forge. Located in the North Carolina section of the park, the trail is around three miles long and has beautiful views of the forests. However, it is important to know that the National Park Service Pet Policy requires you to have your dog leashed and dispose of any dog waste in proper containers.
Cades Cove Loop Road
Almost every dog owner who takes car rides with their dogs knows how much they love sticking their head out the window, feeling the breeze against their face, and enjoying the view the outside world offers. The Cades Cove allows you to enjoy a loop drive with your dog in the car and sightsee through the 11 miles at a leisurely pace. However, the dogs are not allowed entry inside the historical buildings that line the trail.
Smoky Mountain River Rat
If you and your dog love adventure and outdoor activities, river tubing in the Smoky Mountains River Rat may be what you are looking for. Who would pass on the opportunity of floating in the river with their dog? The River Rat allows you to do that and more with all the mountain adventures it has to offer. Moreover, if your dog weighs less than 50 pounds, you can even get them on a separate tube than yours and have them float to their heart’s content. Tethering their tube to yours would be best to avoid unforeseen accidents. Also, make sure to leash your dog before you pay the visit, for unleashed dogs are not permitted.
The Island at Pigeon Forge
The Island is one of the most popular places in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and a must-go place for dog owners. The complex offers plenty of restaurants, shops, and other entertaining attractions. With so many activities to do, you will never find yourself bored on The Island, especially with your leashed dog in tow. However, do remember that while the dogs may be allowed on the Island, their entry inside business places is totally up to the place’s policies.
Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
The best thing about Gatlinburg SkyLift Park is its yellow lift chairs that take you up and down Crockett Mountain. Enjoying Gatlinburg’s gorgeous views alongside your dog makes it an even better experience. The SkyLift Park allows you to bring your leashed dog with you, provided that you keep them secure and clean up after their waste while you are there.
Aside from riding with your dog on the lift chair, you can also enjoy a walk on the SkyBridge and the SkyTrail. If your dog loves to walk with you, it will surely have a great time in SkyLift Park.
Mad Dog’s Creamery
While Mad Dog’s is a must for every person with a sweet tooth, it is an even better stop for dog owners because it offers delicious treats and toys for your dog. Find a spot at their picnic tables and have a dessert date with your furry friend.
Petsafe Unleashed Dog Park
Most places at Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg only allow leashed dogs. If your dog is craving some unleashed fun time, take them to Petsafe Unleashed Dog Park, located in the heart of the city of Sevierville, about seven miles from Pigeon Forge. The dog park offers sufficient space for dogs to play around. The park offers separate playing areas for small and large breeds, agility equipment, and a chance for your dog to make some friends.
Your pet deserves to have a good time, but it is also vital for you to judge whether they are in the condition to travel. Some pets are hard to manage in unfamiliar settings, and taking them with you will only ruin your vacation and make you exhausted. Therefore, if you think it may be best to leave your pet home, force yourself to say goodbye, even if it is hard.
For those who are sure their pet will make a great travelling companion, ensure that you make your plans and arrangements considering your pet’s needs and mark your spots on your vacation itinerary beforehand. And all in all, remember to have a great time.