Can I bring my pet to the park?

July 29, 2016  |  Permalink

We know it’s important for your furry friends to get outdoors. There’s nothing worse than a bored dog that decides to eat the chair leg or the couch cushion.  They need to smell fresh air and get a chance to stretch their legs every now and then. Taking your animal to a park is one great way to bond with them and help them get the exercise they need.


Here are a few things to know about bringing your pet to a state park:

1. All of our campgrounds allow pets

The key is that the animal must remain under “physical restrictive control” (i.e. cage, crate, leash, etc.). It’s also important that you supervise your animal at all times and have proof of a rabies shot.


2. All of our parks with lodging have designated cabins or lodge rooms that allow pets

Guests must pay a pet fee and sign a liability form, and there may be additional charges if your pet causes damages. However, this is a great option if you want to come to a park but do not wish to camp in a tent or RV.


3. There are parks that allow pets on the trails

One of the best ways to explore Tennessee State Parks is by hitting the trail with your canine friend. Many state parks, like Cummins Falls and Rocky Fork, actually mention hiking with pets on the website. Long Hunter and Radnor Lake state parks have specific trails that allow pets, but don't allow pets on every trail. Regardless of the park, the pet must remain on a leash. If you want to know if a park allows pets on the trails, just make a quick phone call to the park office.


4. There are also places where pets are off-limits

Obviously, there are some places where pets are not allowed.  Certain swimming beaches and pools, public areas (like lodge lobbies), and other spaces may be off-limits. We also ask that you not bring your pet into a park restaurant or place where food is stored.  


To make the most of your visit:

1. Understand where your pet can and cannot go in a park

While many parks allow pets, they may have designated areas that are off-limits. When in doubt, call the park.

2. Keep your pet leashed and under control at all times

Do not leave pets unattended.

3. Please clean up after your pet

It helps keep our park clean, safe and enjoyable. 

4. When hiking or biking with pets, stay on the trail

Going off-trail can damage fragile ecosystems and plants, cause erosion and endanger the safety of your pet.

5. Don’t forget to bring fresh water for you and your four-legged friend. Hydration is key, especially in the dog days of summer
6. Follow our pet policy

You can read our full pet policy here.


Tennessee State Parks know how much you love your pets. That’s why we want you to know that under the right conditions, your pets are allowed in our parks. We want to help your pet receive the exercise it needs to live a long and healthy life. We also want you to enjoy your park experience to the fullest. We look forward to seeing you, and your pet, on your next state park adventure. 

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