Pet-Friendly Adventures Around Cherokee, NC

Pet-Friendly Adventures Around Cherokee, NC

Is your pet your best friend? Obviously! Therefore, you probably enjoy doing endless activities with them — but like anything else, doing the same thing with your pup every day can be tiresome. It's time to jazz up your routine with some pet-friendly adventures in the Cherokee, NC area.

Doing activities with your pet will only strengthen your bond. Plus, it'll promote physical and mental stimulation for your furry friend, which will help their overall health. Of course, you have a chance to get out of the house, too. Check out some of these pet-friendly things to do in Cherokee, NC, so you have a list of ways to keep you and your pet happy and occupied, whether you live here or are in town for the weekend.

1. Visit the Oconaluftee River Trail

The Oconaluftee River Trail is a walking path in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is a pet-friendly park located in Cherokee, NC. The path is 1.5 miles both ways for a complete walk of 3 miles, a perfect length for your dog. This river trail lets your pet explore new territory and get a change of scenery — and you can get a workout in, too.

The path runs through the forest along the Oconaluftee River, so there are plenty of picturesque views you and your dog will get to see. In the springtime specifically, you'll enjoy a gorgeous view complete with seasonal wildflowers. This walking trail is relatively flat, so you and your pup won't tire out quickly. If you're looking for a beautiful, moderate-difficulty trail, you can't go wrong with trekking along the Ocanaluftee River.

Note that while the trail is well-marked, you'll still want to keep an eye on the markers and your dog as you walk. Additionally, be aware of other animals to ensure you and your pup stay safe on the trail. Since it's a popular spot for dog owners, you may just make a few friends along the way.

2. Check Out Gatlinburg SkyLift Park

About an hour north of Cherokee, you'll find Gatlinburg, TN, a town that offers plenty to do and see with your pets. If you're interested in seeing the Great Smoky Mountains from a different vantage point, check out Gatlinburg SkyLift Park. Here, you can walk the SkyBridge — the longest in North America — to traverse the stunning mountains with your pup. Of course, you can also hitch a ride on the SkyLift, which will take you to the top of Crockett Mountain.

While dogs are certainly welcome at SkyLift Park, you must ensure your dog is leashed at all times. If you're planning on taking a lift, you're required to hold your dog securely the entire time. Be sure you're aware of the park's rules so you and your pup can have the best time possible.

3. Go to the Village Shops

If you're more of a shopper and less of the outdoors type, you can still take your pet on an adventure. Take them to the Village Shops in Gatlinburg. This pet-friendly attraction near Cherokee, NC, comprises 27 specialty stores, so there's sure to be something for everyone.

There are wooded outdoor areas around the shops great for walking your pets. Plus, you can find ample outdoor seating around the shops where you and your pet can rest. If you don't only want to window shop, you can bring your dog inside many of the stores, too. As a bonus, there's even a pet store, so be sure to pick up a few treats for your furry friend before you leave.

4. Grab a Drink at Sugarlands Distilling Co.

Another pet-friendly attraction to make a stop at while in Gatlinburg is Sugarlands Distilling Company. Sugarlands Distilling Company is an industrial moonshine distiller that offers indoor and outdoor tours, tastings and live music events — and everything is pet-friendly. Some drinks you can enjoy include moonshine, whiskey and their unique twists on some classic drinks. For your pup, they have water and puppuccinos, which is essentially a cup of whipped cream.

In addition to Sugarlands, there are also several other places to grab a drink with your pet in Gatlinburg, including Ole Smoky MoonshineTennessee Cider Company and Tennessee Homemade Wines.

5. Pick Up a Treat at Bonediggity Barkery & Gifts

If you're looking for pet-friendly attractions in or near Cherokee, NC, solely for your dog, Bonediggity Barkery & Gifts is the place to be. This bakery is equipped with endless homemade treats for your furry friend. Plus, they sell many other items for your pet, including leases, collars, apparel and toys. Bonediggity is located in the Village Shops area in Gatlinburg, so if you find yourself there, be sure to add it to your list of things to do.

6. Walk Watterock Knob Trail

Take a quick 30-minute drive to Waynesville, NC, and you'll find the stunning Watterock Knob Trail. Here, you can walk trails that lead to gorgeous views of the Appalachian Mountains. The National Park Service notes that due to its location, Watterock Knob captures views of sunsets and sunrises perfectly, so it may be worth it to trek there with your dog just to see the stunning skies.

Because the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians lives in the area, there's much to learn about the area's Native American influence. Be sure to check out the visitor's center to learn more about the history of the trail before starting your journey.

Explore Kampgrounds of America With Your Furry Friend

Kampgrounds of America (KOA) is a campground where four-legged family members are always welcome to stay. At our campsites, you'll find various options for your stay, including RV sites, tent areas and lodges. As a bonus, KOA has KampK9 pet-friendly parks in Cherokee, NC, so you can enjoy the adventure of a lifetime with your best furry friend. 

These are well-kept, fenced-in areas where your dog can roam — and even make new friends — as you hang out and watch them play. Whether you're in town for a week or are just passing through, KampK9 is a must for dog owners staying with KOA. Find out more about KOA Cherokee and book your stay today!

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