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Visitors to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge want to bring the entire family on vacation, including their trusted companions, to enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains. Staying in a vacation rental is the perfect way to ensure the entire family has a wonderful time.  Here are a few things to help you have the best experience possible when you bring your entire family to the mountains.

First make sure your vacation rental is pet friendly!  American Patriot Getaways has over 35 Pet Friendly cabins and chalets to choose from.  Be sure you ask first before booking if your cabin is pet friendly.


The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and most of our nations National Parks limit pet access. This includes parks such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, and several others, so it’s not just the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Dogs are allowed in campgrounds, picnic areas, and along roads, but must be kept on a leash at all times.  Dogs are allowed on two short walking paths—the Gatlinburg Trail and the Oconaluftee River Trail. Pets are not allowed on any other park trails.  Pet excrement must be immediately collected by the pet handler and disposed of in a trash receptacle.  Pets should not be left unattended in vehicles or RVs.  Be sure to read all of the rules on Pets in the National Park.

A better option for hiking with your doggo is out at Seven Island State Birding Park.  Located at Exit 402 on I-40, approximately half an hour from Pigeon Forge.  This great park has several miles of trails with mountain views and river frontage.  If you have a sporting dog, this bird park will be heaven on earth.  There is no entrance fee and plenty of free parking.  Barks & Recreation


A great way for the entire family to enjoy the National Park is to have a picnic with your pooch. Bring your four legged family member to Barks and Recreation to enjoy the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, enjoy an open, fenced, leash free play area (at designated times), and an on the leash area in front of the Dudley Creek. Now your best friend can experience the natural beauty of the Smokies with family! All dogs must be socially well behaved, and up to date on shots and vaccines, as well as treated for fleas and ticks. Please call for availability but walk-ins are welcome. Barks and Recreation is located off Hwy. 321 in Gatlinburg, TN – only 2.2 miles from stoplight No. 3.

So now you may ask yourself what to do if you decide you would like to visit Cades Cove or go on a hike to one the parks many beautiful Waterfalls? You could drop your best friend off at Smoky Dog Lodge – a daycare center for your pet.  Your pet will have plenty of room to play with new friends, have a snack or simply take a nap. Dogs are organized into play groups based on their personality and size – so no worrying about your pet getting too rough with a bigger animal.  It’s a Smoky Mountain vacation for your pet.

Just Fer Paws Kennels

Another great place to leave your best friend is Just Fer Paws, “Where life has really gone to the dogs”. Just Fer Paws is a doggie daycare and boarding facility with over an acre of fenced-in play area nestled in the Smoky Mountains. Bring your dog to play for the day with doggie daycare. They also offer in-the-house boarding too! If your dog gets along with other dogs they will get playtime with friends. Or, if you prefer, they”ll get the acre to themselves for play time. The owner has over 20 years experience in working with all animals.  Her own dogs have been on Animal Planet, David Letterman, national commercials and more!

Dog Park

If your dog loves to run off leash, consider a trip to Sevierville’s PetSafe Unleashed Dog Park.  Located just outside of the City Park in Sevierville, this newer dog park has plenty of running space, an agility course, and separate play space for large dogs and small dogs.

The Comedy Barn


Also, there are plenty of great restaurants in the area with patios where you are welcome to eat outside in the company of your pet! From the Best Italian restaurant, offering their famous garlic rolls, a must when you visit, to Howard’s Restaurant a Gatlinburg tradition for over 50 years. Sit outside on the patio by the creek with the entire family.

Book that getaway now!

With all of these wonderful places to take your best friend, you will certainly want to bring your entire family on your next Smoky Mountain getaway. Why not stay in a pet friendly overnight rental cabin? At American Patriot Getaways we realize that no family member should have to be left behind.  We offer a variety of pet friendly properties for you to choose from. Let American Patriot Getaways help you find the perfect Pet Friendly cabin or chalet for you and your pet.  Visit us online to take of tour of our beautiful cabins or contact one of our Getaway Specialists today at 1-800-204-5169.

Be sure to check out all of our vacation guides for planning your Smoky Mountain getaway.  You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest area information!

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