Even though dogs aren’t allowed on most trails at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can still enjoy the park’s most popular attraction with Fido in tow. Take a scenic drive on the 11-mile loop around Cades Cove, and you’ll easily spot dozens of white-tailed deer, black bears, and other animals roaming the open fields that were once farmed by pioneers. Depending on traffic conditions, motorists should allow two to four hours to drive the entire loop. If you’d prefer to take Fido on a walk instead, plan to visit on a Wednesday between June and September. Cades Cove Loop Road is closed to vehicular traffic during that time to give bicyclists and pedestrians an opportunity to enjoy the awe-inspiring scenery. After navigating the loop, head to nearby River Rat Tubing for some fun on the water.
After a day of exploring the Smokies, you and your pup can kick back in a cozy cabin at the Dancing Bear Lodge in Townsend. All cabins feature luxurious feather beds, wood-burning fireplaces, and private porches with hot tubs. Enjoy a glass of wine and a delicious meal as your pooch sits tableside on the outdoor deck of the on-site Appalachian Bistro. A complimentary breakfast is served daily.
Ready for a Road Trip?
Photo by Linda Segerfeldt
If this Ruff Guide to Tennessee preview left your dog drooling for more, we hope you check out our new book - Ruff Guide to the United States. Remember to use discount code VOLUNTEER to save 50% on your copy. Happy Travels!