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Dog-Friendly Knoxville: Exploring the Scruffy City with Your Pup

Knoxville is a city that paws-itively loves dogs.

From dog-friendly Knoxville restaurants and breweries to beautiful dog parks and hiking trails, the Scruffy City (what an appropriate nickname!) truly has something for every dog and their humans to enjoy.

There are even some unique things to do and special events, like tubing down the river or hanging with friends (and fur friends) at a local brewery.

Whether you’re just visiting and planning your Knoxville weekend itinerary or you’re a Knox local, read on for our ultimate guide to dog-friendly Knoxville!

The Ultimate Guide to Knoxville with Dogs

Knoxville Dog Parks

Knoxville has some of the best dog parks in the entire state. Here are just a few of our favorites!

It should go without saying, but dogs are required to wear a collar with identification at all times in Knoxville dog parks.

In addition, they must also be up-to-date on vaccinations and should be under good voice control.

Finally, please be good pet owners and clean up after your dogs! 🐾

PetSafe Village Dog Park

  • 10424 PetSafe Way

This 4.5-acre dog park is one of the largest in Knoxville. It was also the city’s very first dedicated dog park, back in 2007!

The park features a natural pond dogs can swim in, separate areas for large and small dogs, doggie water fountains, and plenty of shade.

There are also benches and picnic tables for pet owners, as well as walking trails outside the fenced areas.

Tommy Schumpert Park

  • 6400 Fountain City Road

This park has two large, fenced-in areas, one for pups under 30 pounds and the other for dogs of all sizes.

The larger park has a decent-sized pond with a dock, and a walking trail covered in mulch. On the side for smaller dogs, the ground is mulch and grass, and there are several benches.

Bring the whole family along, because this dog-friendly Knoxville park has plenty more to enjoy! Besides the dog park itself, walk the paved trail, challenge yourself on the 18-hole disc golf course, or break a sweat on the sports fields.

Concord Park

  • 10960 Concord Park Drive

A beautiful dog park spanning nearly 4 acres, Concord Park is one of Knoxville’s most popular. The park has direct access to the Tennessee River, and there are several walking, hiking, and mountain biking trails. It’s a dream for outdoor enthusiasts!

Concord Park has water fountains for both dogs and their owners, and there’s even a doggie shower!

Dog-friendly Knoxville Restaurants & Breweries

When it comes to finding a place to eat (or drink!) with your four-legged bestie, Knoxville has tons of options. Here are some of the best dog-friendly restaurants and breweries in the city.

Balter Beerworks

  • 100 Broadway Southwest

Literally everything is made from scratch at Balter Beerworks, from the delicious food to the craft brews. And it just so happens to be one of the more dog-friendly Knoxville breweries, welcoming pups on its spacious patio.

There are water bowls and plenty of shade to keep you and your dog cool on hot days.

However, the real secret here is that Balter Beerworks has one of the best weekend brunches in the city (we promise!). Don’t miss the Fried Green Tomato Benedict and $1.00 mimosas!

Alliance Brewery

  • 1130 Sevier Avenue

This popular brewery features 12 rotating taps, and offers flights, tasters, and crowlers to go. There are also a handful of ciders and non-alcoholic sodas.

The eclectic decor features tons of professional soccer memorabilia and thriving plants, and there’s plenty of outdoor seating.

Don’t miss Tuesday nights, which are “cask brew nights.” The brewery “enhances” a small batch of one of its flagship beers with special ingredients for a one-of-a-kind beer!

The French Market Creperie

  • 412 Clinch Avenue (Downtown) / 161 Brooklawn Street (West Knox)

A beloved spot for brunch in Knoxville, both of this cozy and chic creperie’s locations have beautiful outdoor seating areas that welcomes dogs. The staff is always happy to provide water bowls and treats for the four-legged guests!

Enjoy over 40 unique varieties of crepes, specialty French baked goods like macarons and petit fours, and a menu of savory light bites including sandwiches, salads, and omelets.

Central Filling Station

  • 900 N. Central Street

This popular food truck park is one of the best ways to experience dog-friendly Knoxville.

With over 20 rotating food trucks, a bar serving beer, wine, and seltzers, and a spacious dog-friendly outdoor seating area, you and your furry friend are sure to find something you love.

There’s even covered seating for the occasional rainy days, and several yard games to keep people of all ages entertained.

Bring the kiddos, too!

Crafty Bastard Brewery

  • 6 Emory Place (Downtown) / 9937 Kingston Pike (West Knox)

Both locations of this fun, anything-but-ordinary Knoxville brewery love their pup customers.

Crafty Bastard calls itself an “experimental brewery,” offering beers like the red wine barrel-aged sour with blueberries and raspberries and a wheat beer with local honey and lavender.

The events at both locations, which are also dog-friendly, are just as popular as the beers. Think live music, trivia nights, and local food trucks.

Dog-Friendly Knoxville Hiking Trails

Knoxville has no shortage of excellent hiking trails, and many of the best also happen to be dog-friendly.

Ijams Nature Center Trails

Ijams Nature Center is a beautiful 300-acre park with over 12 miles of hiking trails. Dogs are welcome on ALL the trails, just as long as they are kept on a leash.

The trails are well-maintained, and there are plenty of shaded spots to stop and rest along the way. Ijams offers a variety of terrain, including hills, meadows (visit in late spring and early summer for blankets of wildflowers!), and forest, making every trail fun and exciting for you and your furry friend.

Finally, the park even has a dog-friendly quarry lake that you and your pup can swim in on hot days!

Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area

Very close to Ijams Nature Center, the Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area has over eight miles of dog-friendly Knoxville hiking trails. The trails are relatively easy, mostly level with few hills, which makes them ideal for dogs of all ages and abilities.

Dogs are allowed to roam off-leash in the wildlife management area, so long as they are under voice control. The area also has plenty of shade and, of course, the river, where your pup can take a swim.

Forks of the River also has direct access to the popular paved Will Skelton Greenway, which connects to Knoxville proper.

House Mountain State Natural Area

When you want to escape the city but don’t necessarily want to go far, head to 527-acre House Mountain State Natural Area.

The area has over five miles of hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty. Dogs are welcome on all the trails at House Mountain, as long as they are kept on a leash.

Enjoy stunning views of the Cumberland and Unaka Mountains and surrounding countryside. In fact, the views are so expansive that it’s hard to believe you’re just outside a major city! The diversity of the area also makes it a perfect bird-watching destination.

Haw Ridge Park

Haw Ridge Park is another fantastic dog-friendly Knoxville destination. With over 30 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails, the park has trails at varying levels of difficulty so you can choose one that best suits you and your dog’s abilities.

While dogs are welcome on all the trails at Haw Ridge, it’s important to keep in mind that this is an extremely popular park for mountain biking.

Keep your eyes and ears open, and be prepared to quickly move to the side when cyclists come flying down the trail!

The park is also situated on Cinch Lake, which provides the perfect setting for cooling off after a long hike. Jump in for a swim, hop in a kayak, or paddle around the lake on a SUP to make a whole day of your outing!

Dog-Friendly Hotels in Knoxville

Female hugging pet dog at hotel in Gatlinburg TN

If you’re planning a trip to Knoxville with your pup (or even just taking a staycation!), you’ll need a place to stay.

The city has some seriously amazing hotels, many of which are also dog-friendly.

Aloft Knoxville West

  • 364 Lovell Road
  • One pet up to 40 pounds welcome with a $25 per-night fee, not to exceed $150 total
  • Book Here

This vibrant hotel welcomes dogs with goodies including a dog bed, food and water bowls, and a special doggie bag full of treats and toys. Humans will love the lively pool, two bars, 24-hour gym, and free parking, which is a rare find in Knoxville!

The Tennessean

  • 531 Henley Street
  • Dogs up to 50 pounds are welcome with a $100 pet fee per stay
  • Book Now

In the heart of downtown Knoxville, The Tennessean has a reputation for being the epitome of luxury. Best of all, the hotel pampers both human guests and dogs! Four-legged guests receive gifts such as an in-room doggie bed and water bowl, and there’s even a dog park adjacent to the parking garage!

La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Knoxville Papermill

  • 1317 Kirby Road
  • Two dogs of any size are welcome, with an additional pet fee of $25 per pet, per night
  • Book It Here

This West Knox hotel is convenient to literally everything in the city, with a location right near where I-75 and I-40 meet. In addition to pet-friendly rooms, there’s an outdoor pool, complimentary hot breakfast, and a 24-hour fitness center.

More Dog-Friendly Knoxville Activities

Go tubing with your dog

Smoky Mountain River Rat treats furry participants just the same as its human ones. Dogs are welcome to float down the scenic Little River with their humans, or can even cruise in their own tubes!

Tethers are included with all dog passes, so you have the choice.

Pups who tag along for this adventure should be very comfortable in the water, and it’s also advised to put them in life vests, which aren’t provided.

🚨 Note that only tubing is dog-friendly, NOT whitewater rafting. These tours depart from Townsend, which is near Pigeon Forge.

Knoxville Botanical Garden & Arboretum

The extremely dog-friendly Knoxville Botanical Garden, which is in a peaceful area on the city’s east side, is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon with your pup. Best of all, it’s totally FREE to visit the gardens!

There are about two miles of walking paths and pristine gardens to explore. In addition, the gardens host special events throughout the year, like Fall Festival and holiday light displays.

Attend a dog-friendly event

It’s no secret that Knoxville is a city that loves its dogs, and luckily, there are several dog-friendly events throughout the year.

Attending these events with your furry friend is a wonderful way to make memories, plus you have the opportunity to support local businesses (which is always a good cause)!

For example, some of the most popular events include:

  • Dogwood Arts Festival — you and your pup can enjoy art and live music in World’s Fair Park

  • Bark in the Park — also held in World’s Fair Park, this “spooktacular” event benefits the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley

  • Bike Boat Brew & Bark – combining some of our favorite things, this dog-friendly Knoxville festival celebrates dogs, The Great Outdoors, and craft beer!

Visit the War Dog Memorial

For a quick outing with your pup, head to the War Dog Memorial statue on the riverfront. The memorial, which features a Doberman pinscher, honors hundreds of dogs who served in World War II alongside US Marines.

The statue is also meant to symbolize the unique bond humans share with dogs, so it’s a wonderful activity for you and your dog!

We hope you have a fur-tastic time exploring Knoxville with your pup in tow! Drop us a note below with questions or comments.