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Old 09-23-2019, 06:37 PM   #1
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Traveling to Great Smoky Mountains in October

We plan to spend a week in and around Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We like to hike with our two dogs but know we can't do that in a National Park. Looking for campgrounds near the National Park to stay and be able to hike with dogs. anyone??? thanks!
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:39 PM   #2
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There are several NICE campgrounds in Townsend TN right outside the entrance to the park.

Great place to stay!
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:14 AM   #3
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We found a place called Anchor Down RV Resort. Looks pretty good, not to far off the highway.
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Old 09-24-2019, 06:57 AM   #4
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TN or NC side?
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:13 AM   #5
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Anchor Down is a nice campground on Douglas Lake.

It is also a LONG WAY from the Park!
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:07 AM   #6
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Anchor Down is beautiful - if you plan to stay at the CG. It's pretty far away from everything except Dandridge. It's very far from Cades Cove, especially since you'll have to go through Sevierville and Pigeon Forge traffic to get there.

I second staying in Townsend or Walland on the quiet side of the park. You can then take either Hwy. 321 or the newly opened section of the Foothills Parkway to get to the chaos in Pigeon Forge. Or, you can take Little River Road to go directly to Gatlinburg.

October is one of our high seasons. Expect crowds, but beautiful views. Be sure to go up to the new Sky Bridge (by way of the Sky Lift) from downtown Gatlinburg.
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:10 AM   #7
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Actually there are two trails inside the park (a number of them outside the park) that allow dogs on leash. One is on the TN side, the other on the NC side. Because of the bears and other wildlife the Rangers get tough on this issue so don't think you be able to sneak a pet onto one of the trails. If a Ranger doesn't catch you another hiker will turn you in. You don't want to be banned from the park for something like this.
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:28 AM   #8
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Hike the Smokies on FB

You might post this to the "Hike the Smokies" group on Facebook. They are extremely helpful with great tips. We live on the edge of the Smokies and this is my go to group when I am looking for advice.
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:39 AM   #9
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Townsend is our favorite.
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:39 AM   #10
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If you dont have reservations you need to get after it. I was looking around at some in Pigeon Forge and they are booked. Fall break for schools and the leaves changing has them all packed.
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:53 AM   #11
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We live just outside the park, as far as hiking with dogs that’s a no go. All trails are no dogs/pets. Trails outside the park (national forests etc) are fine which is where we take ours. Note most of the Blue Ridge Parkway is outside the park, lots of good trails off the Parkway
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:29 PM   #12
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Another Option

You might want to try an area which is not in the park, but a little south of there and in the same mountain range. Tellico Plains, TN is at the northern terminus of the Cherohala Skyway, a lovely road which crosses the mountains and connects the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests. Same fall colors, some Forest Service campgrounds and nowhere near the number of people that you'll find in the Smokies. For full-hookup camping, try Tellico Plains , TN or Robbinsville, NC. The Forest Service is also more dog-friendly, but keep them on a leash if you want it to stay that way. That general area is not so well-known as the National Park and, in many ways, just as lovely.
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:40 PM   #13
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Good info, thanks. Planning a trip there next month.
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Old 09-26-2019, 10:27 AM   #14
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We like Little Arrow in Townsend, TN. You will for sure need reservations in October.
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Old 09-26-2019, 01:18 PM   #15
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Have stayed at Big Meadow Family Campground and the Townsend KOA, both are nice. The KOA is right outside the entrance to the park. Big Meadow is a little further down the road.
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Old 09-26-2019, 11:02 PM   #16
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thanks! What full service campgrounds do you recommend in Tellico Plains?
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Old 09-27-2019, 06:23 AM   #17
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Your most recent post asked about full service campgrounds, but none of the posters mentioned Elkmont, which is believe is electric only, but is in the park. I think the cades cove campgrounds will be closed for repairs in october, and are also electric only.
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Old 10-02-2019, 10:27 AM   #18
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Neither Elkmost or Cades Cove have hookups. There are some generator loops in both.

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Old 10-02-2019, 10:30 AM   #19
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There are several parks on the east side of Gatlinburg on Hwy 321
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Old 10-02-2019, 10:38 AM   #20
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There are also a number of full service parks in Cherokee NC and Maggie Valley NC. Challenge will be a site.
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