Tennessee is known for its bounty of hiking trails, so it's no surprise that Chattanooga is home to countless outdoor enthusiasts. But Chattanoogans aren't the only ones who love a good hike; your dog does too! That's why I have compiled a list of dog-friendly hiking trails in the Chattanooga area for you and your four-legged companion to enjoy. Trust me… I cannot fit all of them on one list, but these were picked for convenience, scenic views, swimming holes, and dog friendliness! 

Big Soddy Creek Gulf - The Blue Hole

Care for a swim? One of the many "Blue Holes" in Soddy Daisy, this is the perfect spot to cool off in the heat of the summer. Take a 30 minute trek along a wooded trail to the crystal blue swimming hole or veer off at any point to take a dip in the Chickamauga Creek. These trails go on for miles so you can choose how adventurous you want to be! 

Pro tip: Keep an eye out for snakes, most will never pose a threat, but this area has a decent snake population especially near the water. 

Ranking: Easy

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Possum Creek - Cumberland Trail

Less trafficked and more isolated, Possum creek has two main trail heads that both bring you along a beautiful section of the Cumberland Trail. You can come in from the North or the South and each direction leads you to a small waterfall where you can take a dip at around mile 4. Sections of this trail, particularly coming from the Southern trail head can burn the legs! 

Ranking: Moderate

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Cloudland Canyon - Overlook Trail

The Cloudland Overlook Trail can be as short as a quarter mile or if you connect it other trails you can go as long as 50 miles! Most of this trail is wide, easy to navigate, and is ideal for dog walking, plus you can choose to turn around and walk back to your car at any time. There are rails in some, but not all areas of the bluffed areas so keep the dog secure.

Ranking: Easy

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Cloudland Canyon - Cherokee & Hemlcok Falls

Less liked by dogs for the 600+ steps, but arguably one of the best attractions in the park is Cherokee Falls. If you and your dog are brave enough you will be treated to an awesome 60 foot waterfall. Just strap on the boots and tighten the harness for the trek back up the 600+ steps!

Ranking: Moderate/Strenuous

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Prentice Cooper - Mullins Cove to Snoopers Rock 

Prentice Cooper has countless trails to explore. We recommend staying on portions of the Cumberland Trail to avoid the motorized trails that ATV enthusiasts enjoy. If you’re looking for an all day adventure check out the Mullins Cove trail. This 9.6 mile trail hits some of the park's favorite lookout points like Snoopers Rock. This point (Snoopers Rock) can also be accessed by several much shorter trails if you’re not feeling up for an all day affair. 

Ranking: Moderate

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Sunset Rock

There isn't a hike more iconic than the Sunset Rock overlook atop Lookout Mountain. This quick "hike" takes you from a small gravel parking lot to a breath-taking view of the valley. Like the name implies, this ledge provides the perfect spot to watch the sunset. Hold the dog tight if they have never been around bluffs. This spot is very popular and easily accessible so parking fills up quickly. We recommend trying to go in the middle of the week to try and avoid the inevitable crowd.

Ranking: Easy

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Rainbow Lake and Bee Branch Trail Loop

The Rainbow Lake Trail is a 2.2 mile hike atop Signal Mountain. The short trail loops around Rainbow Lake - a popular swimming spot for humans and dogs alike. If you're up for an adventure, you can explore the suspension bridge and surrounding trails! Parking is decent, but can also fill up quick on weekends and summer months.

Ranking: Easy/Moderate

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Stringers Ridge

If you're looking for a convenient hike in the heart of Chattanooga, look no further than Stringer's Ridge. While these trails don't boast many scenic overlooks or swimming holes, they sure make up for it in accessibility and family friendliness. There are several miles of criss crossing loops that make for a good “quick hiking fix”.

Ranking: Easy

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Signal Point

Another very popular spot in Chattanooga is Signal Point. This spot is only 15 minutes from downtown and boasts scenic bluff views of the Tennessee River. The first section of the trail has a steep descent down several sections of steps, but after that the trail levels out and brings you to the point. Again, be careful with your dog around these areas. Look out for the safety of your dog and others who may not want your dog running around while they’re close to the edge soaking in the views.

Ranking: Moderate

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When you and your pup hit the trails, be sure to remember trail etiquette such as cleaning up after your dog and letting speedy hikers pass you. Believe it or not, other hikers might not love your dog's slobbery greetings as much as you do, so always keep your dog on a non-retractable leash. Don't forget to pack an extra water bottle for your dog and watch for signs of overheating and dehydration. For the best trail gear come check out The Ark’s selection of Ruff Wear! Harnesses, leashes, collapsible bowls, and even trail lights, and backpacks!

Just a reminder that October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month! Our first adoption story comes from McKamey Animal Center. McKamey’s mission is to create a culture of compassionate care, community engagement and advocacy for animals by providing programs and education that support people and companion animals!

Our first adoption story is Blondoh! Raven and her son came to MAC to find a big, energetic dog to take home! They met their match with Blondoh. He is an extra large teddy bear and belly rubs are his favorite, which was a perfect match for Raven and her son. After arriving at MAC and undergoing heartworm treatment, Blondoh has been officially released from activity restrictions and ready to romp and roll. To top it off, the adoption fees for Blondoh were covered by a local Chattanooga business who “sponsored” the adoption! 

For more information about adopting a pet from McKamey please visit their website at: https://www.mckameyanimalcenter.org/

Adoption Fees:

  • Cats: $75 (adult and kittens, adopt 2nd for $25)
  • Dogs: $75 (excludes Ambassadors)
  • Ambassadors: $175 (this includes puppies, pure bred, and other highly desirable dogs)
  • Working Cats: $30- (A working cats is one with a history of living outdoors that is in good health)
  • Pigs & Goats: $40
  • Chickens: $10 ($5 per chicken after 1st)
  • Rabbits, Guinea Pigs & Small Birds: $15
  • Rats, Hamsters & Mice: $10
  • Ferrets: $35

Adoption fee includes:

  • Spay or neuter (excludes some animals ex:- pigs)
  • Age appropriate vaccinations
  • Microchip
  • Parasite Prevention
  • Heartworm test (dogs)
  • 30 days of free pet insurance coverage
  • (includes all animals between 8 weeks-11 years old)

Posted by Ark Crew  | Category: Lending a Paw | Adoption Stories

Can dogs eat pumpkin?

October 5th, 2020

Fall is here which means pumpkin spice everywhere, but did you know pumpkin (minus the sugar and spice) is a great treat for your dog? Raw pumpkin has many health benefits for dogs and many dogs really love it. Here is just a short list of some of the benefits of treating your dog to some pumpkin.

It is packed with Nutrients

Cooked pumpkin is very low in calories, but is packed with Vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C and Magnesium. All of which in the right quantities can aid in lowering blood pressure and boosting the immune system!

It aids in a healthy coat

One of the key nutrients in pumpkin is vitamin A and zinc. Both of which can help your dogs coat look full and shiny. It also aids in moisturizing the skin. In addition, pumpkin water content aids in hydrating your dog which also helps with their skin and coat! 

Pumpkin encourages digestive regularity

Adding a bit of pumpkin to your dogs diet can give them the right amount of fiber so everything flows nicely...  if your dog is having tummy troubles, many vets recommend adding a small amount of raw pumpkin puree to aid in easing the trouble. 

How much pumpkin can you feed your dog? 

A general rule of thumb is 1 tsp of canned pumpkin per 10 lbs of your dogs body weight per day. As for the seeds, these should be given sparingly. Approximately 1 ground up seed per 10 lbs of your dogs body weight per day should do it.


No bake pumpkin dog treat recipe! 

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 2 ½ rolled oats
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Mix, roll into 1 ½ balls, chill for one hour, then serve! 

Posted by Ark Crew  | Category: Can

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