5 State Park Getaways to Take with Your Dog in Tennessee

August 1, 2022  |  Permalink

Location: Fall Creek Falls State Park | Photo: @gveihl_ on Instagram

There’s nothing like bonding with your furry friend in the great outdoors. Taking your dog to a state park is a great way to spend quality time while helping them get the exercise they need. Did you know that all Tennessee State Park campgrounds allow pets? Plus, if you’re not a camper, our parks with lodges and cabins offer several rooms and at least one cabin for guests traveling with pets. That means you can plan a getaway that doesn’t include leaving your best friend behind. In fact, this might be just as much of a vacation for them as it is for you! To help you plan your trip, we’ve compiled a short list of parks that are great destinations for dogs and their owners to play and relax. 

1. Standing Stone State Park

Photo by @dobbythehousecorgi on Instagram

Standing Stone State Park is 11,000 acres and has over eight miles of day-use hiking trails that provide lots of fantastic views for you and your pup to take in. The trails wind around beautiful Standing Stone Lake, up ridges, and past over-flowing streams. The park also offers paddling rentals for those looking to explore the park from the water.

If you're looking to chase waterfalls or explore nearby state parks, Standing Stone is close to attractions such as Dale Hollow Lake, Cummins Falls State Park, and Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park.

Where to Sleep:

For the camp-loving humans and dogs, Standing Stone has 36 campsites, each with a grill, picnic table, water, and electricity. The perfect setup for a relaxing stay in the outdoors. 

If you and your dog are more of the cabin-type, there are over 20 cabins that offer Wi-Fi. Whatever your adventure, Standing Stone cabins are the perfect place to enjoy the beauty and history of Middle Tennessee. 



2. David Crockett State Park

Photo by @hectortheenglishmastiff on Instagram

David Crockett State Park is a 1,319-acre park with a paved bike trail and more than ten miles of hiking trails for you and your furry friend to enjoy. The trails offer scenic vistas of Shoal Creek and Crockett Falls, limestone bluffs, abundant wildlife, and serene forest.  If you have a water-loving dog, you'll enjoy easy access to Lake Lindsey is the perfect place to splash around. Paddleboards, canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, and fishing boats are available for rent. 

Where to Sleep:

There are a few options for campers with the park’s two campgrounds. There are 97 sites equipped with a table and fire ring/grill combo. Perfect for sitting around and cooking man’s best friend’s food – hot dogs! 

The park also features seven modern cabins near beautiful Lake Lindsey. Available year-round, each cabin is completely furnished with two bedrooms, two baths and a full kitchen, and a covered patio.



3. Natchez Trace State Park

Photo by @jafetramirez89 on Instagram

Natchez Trace State Park offers 48,000 acres full of activities! You'll find over 40 miles of hiking trails that wind through forests and fields and along the lakeshores and streams of Natchez Park. Most of the trails range from one-half mile up to 5.5 miles. Swimming, fishing, and paddling on one of the park's lakes are also favorite activities at Natchez Trace.

Where to Sleep:

Natchez Trace State Park offers over 100 campsites with electric and water for tent and RV campers. Sewer hookups can be found at the Pin Oak Campground. The park is also one of the few that offer a wrangler camp for those with very large furry friends (horses). The Bucksnort Wrangler Camp features 65 campsites with full hookups, two bathhouses, and a dump station. There are 250 miles of horse-riding trails on the south end of the park in the Natchez Trace State Forest operated by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. 

The cabins at Natchez Trace range from deluxe two-bedroom cabins with kitchens and living areas to basic camping cabins with only the bare necessities. Which cabin you choose will depend on the number of guests and the level of comfort you're looking to accommodate. 



4. Chickasaw State Park

Photo by @scooterhikestennessee on Instagram

Chickasaw State Park was named for the Chickasaw Tribe who once inhabited West Tennessee and North Mississippi. The park is situated on some of the highest terrain in west Tennessee. Chickasaw State Park has many things for visitors to enjoy, including more than four miles of easy to moderate hiking trails and bicycle-friendly roads. If your dog likes a good boat ride, visitors can rent rowboats and pedal boats to use on Lake Placid.  

Where to Sleep:

Chickasaw State Park has several lodging options, including 13 cabins that sleep up to six people. The cabins are complete with fireplaces and televisions and nestled among tall pines and located within easy access to Lake Placid.

The park also offers camping at three campgrounds for RVs, tents, and visitors traveling with horses. The RV campground has 52 sites equipped with water and electrical hookups and the tent campground has 29 sites. The wrangler campground offers 32 sites designed for visitors traveling with horses, each with water and electrical hookups. All of the park campsites offer amenities such as picnic tables and grills, modern bathhouses with hot showers, and restroom facilities.



5. Norris Dam State Park

Norris Dam State Park sits on more than 4,000 acres located on Norris Reservoir. With more than 800 miles of shoreline, the park offers recreational boating, skiing, and fishing. The park has a fully equipped marina with a boat ramp available to the general public. Norris Dam State Park is known for its hiking trails! Over 21 miles of trails provide spectacular views of Norris Lake and the surrounding hills and valleys. Trails range in distance from a scenic .15-mile trail, to a more strenuous 5.20-mile trail. So many trails, so many sniffs.

Where to Sleep:

For the more outdoor dogs, the park has two campgrounds. The east campground has 25 sites with water and electric hook-up and 10 primitive sites for tents only; the west campground has 50 sites with water and electric hook-up. All the sites have a table, grill, and fire pit.  

The park has 19 historic CCC cabins and 10 deluxe cabins. The historic cabins were originally constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. All are in quiet, wooded settings and are equipped with electrical appliances, cooking utensils, and linens. These offer the perfect relaxation retreat for you and your pup. 


Tips for a Pawfect Visit

Here are a few things you should note to have a safe and enjoyable visit with your pet: 

  • Always clean up after your pet.

  • Keep your pet on a leash, crated or caged, or otherwise under physical restrictive control at all times. 

  • Make sure your pet is current with all vaccinations. 

  • Be weather aware. Avoid prolonged outings on especially hot or cold days.

  • Bring enough water for you and your pet, especially when hitting the trails. 

  • Note signage that specifies areas where pets are not permitted within the park.

    • Pets are prohibited in park lodges or cabins (except where rooms and/or cabins have been designated for pets), public eating places, food stores, and on designated swimming beaches and pools at all times. 

  • Contact the individual park for specific restrictions regarding pets on various trails. 

  • Don't leave your pet unattended in lodge rooms or cabins. 



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