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Check out these perfect pet-friendly parks which make some of the best places to walk, exercise, and have fun with your pup in Tennessee. Please be mindful of respective park rules, such as leash requirements, waste pickup and more.
Hikes Near Memphis
Located less than 40 minutes north of Memphis, Drummonds Park is a 30-acre community park with various activity areas and natural areas where there are plenty of paths to walk and play with your dog. The park, which is handicap accessible, offers a number of serene walking and easy dog-friendly trails, a children’s playground, athletic field, and pavilions with picnic tables and grills available. Additionally, there is an ADA accessible amphitheater and the only official arboretum in Tipton County. Enjoy this clean, quiet little park with your pet and be sure to grab some barbecue after your visit.
Nestled in Collierville near the Wolf River, about 30 miles from Memphis, WC Johnson Park is an ideal location for exploring the easy dog-friendly trails, some even near water. In addition to a number of turf athletic fields, the park offers various walking trails, including a paved loop around the Peterson Lake, shaded boardwalk which leads to the Wolf River, and other non-paved trails which stretch along the river. Perfect for the whole family, there is also a playground, covered picnic area, fishing pond (fishing license required), biking trails, and more available. Visit WC Johnson Park for a clean, peaceful, and relaxing area to bring your pup and commune with nature. Quick tip: All dogs must be leashed when in the park.
A 342-acre public, pet-friendly park located in the heart of Memphis, Overton Park is an urban outdoor sanctuary perfect for a day with your dog. Numerous activities and amenities are available like a playground, gazebo, picnic tables, paved walking trails, bike trails, hiking trails, gardens, and plenty of green space. Your pet can even meet some new doggie friends at the Overton Bark, the large onsite dog park. Also onsite is an art museum, golf course, the Memphis Zoo, and Overton Park Shell (concert amphitheater). Quick tip: Walk the scenic Old Forest trails and download the trail map beforehand so you can read about the forest at each of the markers which explain the local trees, birds, plants, and history of the park.
Bordered by the Cypress Creek and Tuscumbia River and named for the 35-acre Big Hill Pond created in 1853, Big Hill Pond State Park, about 93 miles from Memphis, offers a variety of activities and amenities for visitors, including camping, dog-friendly hiking trails near water, mountain biking, fishing, and paddling. Featuring 30+ miles of dog-friendly trails and loops, take in the beautiful scenery while walking your pup. There is even a 70-ft observation tower where visitors can catch beautiful panoramic views of Travis McNatt Lake and a boardwalk that winds through Dismal Swamp.
Hikes Near Nashville
As one of Nashville’s premier parks located steps from the heart of Downtown, Centennial Park is the perfect place to take your pup for a stroll. Situated on a 132-acre area full of wildlife, this park features the iconic Parthenon, a one-mile walking trail, the serene Lake Watauga, the Centennial Art Center, historical monuments, an arts activity center, a beautiful sunken garden, a band shell, events shelter, sand volleyball courts, exercise trail, and a dog park. Parking is free and there is no admission to walk through the park. Enjoy the peaceful walk and let you dog burn off some energy in this fantastic urban park.
Collectively known at the Warner Parks, Edwin and Percy Warner Parks are only 9 miles from Downtown Nashville and great spots to bring your dog for a day of hiking. Together, Edwin and Percy Warner form the largest municipally administered park in all of Tennessee, spanning 3,100 acres of forests and fields. Featuring a dog park, picnic shelters, scenic roadways/overlooks, numerous dog-friendly hiking trails of varying length, fishing, mountain bike trails, equestrian trails, golf courses, and athletic fields, the Warner Parks have plenty of activities to keep both yourself and your pooch exploring for hours. Be sure to check out the Belle Meade Stairs which are located at the entrance of Percy Warner. Since they were built in 1936, the steps have been a major attraction and were just recently renovated. Quick tip: If you’re planning on hiking the trails, bring the appropriate shoes, as some of them are dirt.
Located in Lawrenceburg, about 82 miles south of downtown Nashville, David Crockett State Park provides a nice, quiet place to exercise with your pets and enjoy some scenic hikes. Set on nearly 1,300 acres, the park is pet-friendly and features hiking and biking trails, an on-site restaurant, fishing, a swimming pool, cabins, over 100 campgrounds, David Crockett museum (staffed during summer months), picnic shelters, playgrounds, and a lake with boat rentals. The park is open year-round from 7am until dark and admission is free, though there is a fee associated with the camping, cabins, and swimming pool. Quick tip: Be sure to leash your dog according to park rules.
Enjoy the multi-use trail at Stones River Greenway System in Murfreesboro, about 34 miles from downtown Nashville. It's a great place to walk your canine which runs parallel to the Stones River. Multiple dog “bark” parks provide large areas for dogs to run around and play. Paved paths are wide, shaded, and well-maintained. Dogs can even take a swim in the water during warmer months with access made easy from the trails. Beloved by locals and visitors alike, this greenway offers picturesque views, abundant wildlife, fishing spots, playgrounds, restrooms, and more.
Hikes Near Johnson City, Chattanooga and the Smokies
One of Johnson City’s most popular community parks for walking dogs on the easy trails and a fantastic green space, Founders Park offers great walking paths, sculptures, a creek, and special events. There is a 1-mile walking trail which is wide, paved, and flat and a fantastic place for a jog or relaxing stroll. Brush Creek runs the length of the park and provides a fun area for dogs to explore and play. Also available on occasion are food trucks and live music on Fridays during warmer months. Quick tip: Check out Yee-Haw Brewery which is right across from the park and has a dog-friendly patio where you can enjoy a delicious brew and hang out with friends, family and Fido.
Not your typical dam, the Holston River Weir Dam in Bristol not only generates electricity for the nearby community, but also helps to oxygenate the river’s water to ensure native populations of insects, plant life, and fish remain healthy during periods of low water flow. Now a thriving spot for trout and one of the most popular trout fisheries in the Southeast, this location is also a perfect place to bring your dog and explore. Catch views of the beautiful South Holston Lake while walking along the main trail which leads to the dam and also connects to a large grass field and picnic tables complete with grills. Walk on the bridge above the South Holston River and there is a 1.5-mile trail which will lead you to Osceola Island, home to many trees and abundant wildlife.
Visit Big Ridge State Park, a 3,687-acre park located in Maynardville, about 26 miles from Knoxville. Home to a variety of activities for the whole family and your dog, you can hike along the 15+ miles of trails ranging from easy to very rugged. Trails along the lake provide fantastic water views. Also available are 50 campsites near Norris Lake that accommodate RVs, trailers, and tent campers with water, 50-amp electrical hookups, and picnic table with grill. There are even pet-friendly cabins on the property which can be rented and can sleep up to eight people.
Take a stroll with your dog at the 23-acre Renaissance Park, located on the north shore of the Tennessee River and featuring historic markers, picnic areas, nature trails, art sculptures and more. Your leashed pup will have plenty of space to roam throughout the area and along the paths. With beautiful views of downtown Chattanooga, step onto one of the piers for a look at the skyline and surrounding wetland area. With plenty of benches, restrooms, and parking, spend some time walking around the area and enjoying the scenery with your dog. The park is in close proximity to a number of great pet-friendly restaurants, so be sure to stop by one for a nice meal following your walk.
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