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Dog jaunt: Tennessee state parks with a dog

It’s time once again for the nearly-annual reunion of my husband’s family, and this year it is being held at Pickwick Landing State Park. Every Tennessee state park sets aside a limited number of inn rooms, and one cabin per park, where you may stay with a pet, and we reserved a room a couple of months ago (the park service suggests making your reservations “several weeks in advance”).

The Tennessee state park pet policy is set out in detail on the Tennessee State Parks Policies page, but the highlights are as follows: Your dog must be in a carrier or on a leash at all times, and may not go into park lodges (except for your pet-friendly room or cabin), restaurants or food stores. Designated pools, beaches and trails are off limits (we haven’t looked at the pool signs, but the trails and swimming area on the beach we visited do not have any no-dogs signs). There is a $15 per night pet fee, and pets may not be left alone in your room. Pets must be current on vaccinations.

Our room is on the ground floor overlooking the lake. Each room has a door to a tiny patio; since we’re on the ground floor, this also means that quick bathroom walks on the lawn beyond our patio are super convenient. The grounds are lovely, and full of interest for Chloe (foresty bits with squirrels! expanses of lawn! ducks! geese!! beaches! volleyball court! cemetery!).

Leashed dogs are also allowed in all Tennessee state park campgrounds, but we’re perfectly content to be in the inn. We can report that the Pickwick Landing inn’s public areas are very attractive, and the rooms are no-frills but clean and well-maintained (our bathroom is surprisingly large and nice). There is free wi-fi. The restaurant is serviceable, and has a gorgeous view of the lake. A row of rocking chairs on the balcony outside the restaurant allows you to contemplate the lake and boaters in shade and comfort.

We’re looking forward to returning next year — and next year we’ll set aside more time to visit the nearby Shiloh battlefield and sample some more BBQ (we can recommend the Rib Cage in Pickwick Dam, TN — turn left out of the state park, drive past Jon’s Pier, with a lighthouse in front, and find the Rib Cage on the right, next to the Freddy T’s).

Pickwick Landing State Park Inn
Park Road
Pickwick Dam, TN 38365-0015
T: 800-250-8615 or 731-689-3135

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