One of the benefits of bringing the dogs with us (aside from not having to either board them or find a dog sitter) is that they could go do outdoorsy things with us! Unfortunately, it turns out there aren’t a lot of dog-friendly hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, but there were a few.
We ended up picking the Oconaluftee Trail from the Cherokee National Park. It’s a pretty trail that was overall really flat and wide, which I guess is what makes it perfect for dogs.
For most of the hike, the dogs kept out in front of us tugging along. Dexter, of course, had to stop and sniff pretty much every leaf in the forest and mark them til he was dry.
The hike was beautiful! So many pretty things to see. The trail followed the Oconaluftee River and we loved listening to the noise of running water.
At one point on the trail, there was a little trail down to a beach on the river. Dexter loves to play in water so we had to take a few minutes down at the river. He sniffed around then did some splashing in the shallows. Fiona kept to the dry land, but she seemed to enjoy herself, too.
The trail ended up being about a mile and a half one-way (so, three miles round trip.) A little over halfway along, Dexter got super tired. He fell back and was walking at the end of his leash behind us instead of in front of us. So, I carried him for a bit.
He did finish strong and walked most of the end of the trail himself. Fiona kept right on trucking the whole way and never gave up. She did sleep like a rock on the car trip back to the cabin, though! And they were both tired for the rest of that day and most of the next day.