Dog lovers have plenty of reasons to love Chattanooga. Dogs (on a leash) are allowed in most parks in Chattanooga, and many of the city’s best attractions permit dogs to join in. Most importantly, Chattanooga is surrounded by nearby trails that are perfect for your dog. For a fun-filled weekend getaway, it definitely pays to bring your four-legged friend to the Scenic City.
Chattanooga is home to several off-leash parks for dogs to enjoy. Chattanooga Chew Chew Canine Park is a fenced in park with separate sections for small and large dogs with lots of green space, benches, fire hydrants, water fountains, waste removal, and agility equipment. It’s located just off of the Riverwalk near downtown Chattanooga adjacent to the First Tennessee Pavilion. Greenway Farm is an expansive area for people and dogs to explore surrounded by a large fence with separate sections for small and large dogs, plus lots of shade trees, doggie water fountains, and benches. Greenway Farm is a bit off of the beaten path but well worth the drive.
Most all trails are dog-friendly in and around Chattanooga as long as you remember your leash. One of the favorites is a short hike to Glen Falls on Lookout Mountain. Weather and water-level permitting, this is a great spot for your dog to take a dip. Some other favorite trails on Lookout Mountain include the Guild Trail, Cravens House, and the Bluff Trail. Other do-friendly trails around town include North Chickamauga Creek, the Cumberland Trail, the Prentice Cooper State Forest, the Enterprise South Nature Park, Raccoon Mountain, and Stringer’s Ridge. Whether you want a quick 20-minute walk or challenging day-long hike, you'll find multiple scenic options within minutes of downtown Chattanooga.
You can still visit some of the major tourist attractions with your dog. Rock City welcomes dogs on a leash to join in for a mountain adventure on the woodland trails and inside the gardens. Ruby Falls does not allow pets inside the cavern, but free individual kennels (unsupervised) are provided for a $10 lock deposit. Chattanooga Ghost Tours welcome well-behaved, dogs on a leash with tours starting nightly on the downtown side of the Walnut Street Bridge.
A simple walk across Walnut Street Bridge with your dog is a must-do while you’re in town. The bridge was built in 1891 and is the world's longest pedestrian bridge connecting downtown Chattanooga to the north shore. It is a popular and favorite attraction for humans and dogs alike. Make sure to stop in the Ice Cream Show on the downtown side of the bridge for a special dog treat made from frozen vanilla, peanut butter and bananas. Your dog will love it.
There are many local restaurants that have outdoor seating and will allow you to bring your dog as long as you have them on a leash. Some of the more popular spots to people and dog watch include the Hair of the Dog Pub, with excellent back porch seating, featuring sunshades and ceiling fans. Universal Joint Bar & Restaurant, which is located in a former filling station, features a wide range of sandwiches, burgers, and other southern favorites. The Blue Plate is a throwback to an old-school American diner, and it features a patio overlooking a large grass area and the Tennessee River. Aretha Frankensteins on the north shore is known for its great brunch on the weekends, but it’s open from 7 a.m. to midnight, so you can stop by for any meal after a exploring the outdoors. For a complete listing of dog-friendly hotels, local attractions, and restaurants, visit here.
Nooga Paws is a locally owned natural pet market conveniently located on the north shore if you have left something at home. If your dog has gotten dirty from all of your adventures, they have a self-service wash station. In the event of an emergency while visiting, there are two 24-hour emergency veterinarian clinics to take care of your dog: the Animal Emergency & Specialty Center of Chattanooga and the Regional Institute for Veterinary Emergencies and Referrals.
Written by Stephanie Wilkins for RootsRated in partnership with Chattanooga CVB.