Hiking with Dogs: Tennessee's Stone Door

City Dog Gets Outdoors + Explores Tennessee

[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”20872686″]

Ella here. It’s been quite the active summer over in my neck of the woods, hence I’ve been too busy (per the norm) to check in all that often. Guarding a house of such substantial size from the imminent threats of woodchuck, raccoon, skunk and feline intruders is no small task, after all.

Woodchucks in Tennessee

Peer closely; there’s more to that tree than meets the eye.

Nonetheless, I’ve managed to squeeze in a couple hours here and there to entertain friends, like my newest pals Wallace and Charlie, who brought their dads down for the weekend. I mean, I’m a pretty good judge of intellect and good looks, and I’d say these brothers have got it going on.

Dogs in Tennessee

Dogs in Tennessee
Dogs in Tennessee

Dogs in Tennessee

Wallace, in particular, is quite the catch. Mom says I’m not allowed to get married until I’m 9, though. You’ve got three years, Wallace, and then I’m coming for you.

Dogs in Tennessee
Dogs in Tennessee

While the humans drained pitcher after pitcher of mimosas, those of us of the superior breed plotted out the afternoon.

Old Stone Fort: Hiking with Dogs in Tennessee

After much debate, I decided to take my new friends down to my favorite stretch of greenery in the area, Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park, where they know me by name. I’m kind of famous in these parts, y’all—it’s best Wallace know that upfront.

Old Stone Fort: Hiking with Dogs in Tennessee

Tennessee’s got 56 state parks, and while I’ve only been to a handful of them, I’d be so bold as to say that few are as bad ass as Old Stone Fort. Not only is there a pretty creek I love to swim in, but also a couple of waterfalls under which to slick back my mane and oh-so-many trails for us seasoned athletes to run.

Old Stone Fort: Hiking with Dogs in Tennessee

Old Stone Fort is basically the best place ever.

You know what else is the best? Having guests, and I’m hoping Charlie and Wallace come back for a repeat soon (particularly Wallace, *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*). And their humans are pretty cool—you know, for homosapiens—so they’re welcome back, too.
Goldendoodle in Tennessee

A few weekends later, I took Mom and Dad out and about again: this time to Beersheba Springs to hike Stone Door, from which we could see for miles. I’m not entirely sure how far a mile is, but it seemed a doggone good distance. I’m pretty sure I saw Chattanooga just over yonder.

Stone Door: Hiking with Dogs in Tennessee

I just love communing with nature, don’t you?

Dogs in Tennessee
Dogs in Tennessee

Stone Door: Hiking with Dogs in Tennessee

Old Stone Fort: Hiking with Dogs in Tennessee

Contrary to popular belief about us little dogs, we can hang with the best of them, and I was leaving both Mom and Dad behind in my dust as we climbed stone staircase after stone staircase through the tight rock formations.

Old Stone Fort: Hiking with Dogs in Tennessee

Dogs in Tennessee
Dogs in Tennessee

Old Stone Fort: Hiking with Dogs in Tennessee

I’ve become a bit of a historian since moving back to my roots in Tennessee, and I’ll tell you that this trail is part of the South Cumberland State Park, which straddles four counties.

Old Stone Fort: Hiking with Dogs in Tennessee

Nearby is the Fiery Gizzard Trail, one of Mom’s favorite hikes, but she says she avoids it in summer months due to rattlesnakes and ticks. I told her not to worry, I’d protect her, but she said better safe than sorry (to which I say: LAME).

Old Stone Fort: Hiking with Dogs in Tennessee

We stuck to the Savage Gulf part of the park, which has around 55 miles of trail to explore and even a slot canyon or two that Dad thought he’d monkey over in an attempt to give Mom a coronary.

Dogs in Tennessee
Dogs in Tennessee

He likes to do that from time to time.

For those of you nature lovers, Stone Door rocks (see what I did there?). It’s a great little workout for you humans and a leisurely stroll for us canines. And if you have energy left in you when you’re done, you can hike out to nearby Greeter Falls for a dip, then fuel up at the Gruetli-Laager Dairy Bar. They even served me my own pup-sized ice cream!
Old Stone Fort: Hiking with Dogs in Tennessee

Of course, the big news of the hour that I’ve been keeping from you for months is this: I got a sister! (No, not of the human variety—cool your jets, readers.)

Goldendoodle + Maltese

Just a few weeks after my human granddad went into the hospital for something they’re calling a stroke, my grandmother got a call that there was a dog in need, and before you know it, Maggie arrived to town.

Dogs in Tennessee
Dogs in Tennessee

And if she seems familiar, you have a keen sense of smell for a human.

Goldendoodle in Tennessee

Maggie’s the actual mom of my aunt Kari’s goldendoodle Charlee, who I’m not overly fond of (sorry, Charlee, but you’re kind of a pest—I’m sure you’ll grow on me … in time).
Goldendoodle in Tennessee

And while I’m normally pretty indifferent to others of the nation within, Maggie? I flippin’ love her.

Goldendoodle + Maltese
Goldendoodle + Maltese

Goldendoodle + Maltese

We’ve already become best buds. She’s a gentle giant and swears she won’t eat me.

And it took no time until she integrated into our herd rather seamlessly.

Goldendoodle + Malteses

OK, she might stick out like a sore thumb, but don’t tell her that. She thinks she’s tiny but mighty like the rest of us.

Goldendoodle + Malteses

Anyway, it’s time for a nap. You’ve taken up too much of my time and I’ve been up far too long (at least an hour)—this kind of beauty doesn’t come without a lot of hard work, y’all (i.e. snoozing and snoozing some more).

Maltese in Tennessee

Pup out,

Ella

COMMENTS
  • August 4, 2016

    I love posts like this! They’re so hilarious. Those dogs are super cute

  • August 4, 2016

    Aww I wish we had woodchucks here. They look so cute peeking from the tree! Not to mention all the canine cuteness in this post! Ella will be a little grannie by the time you allow her to get married, that’s not fair! Let the poor girl marry her love at a more tender age 😉

  • August 4, 2016
    Becky Riley

    Love the pictures of your mom.She looks as if she could be your sister!

    • October 8, 2016

      Doesn’t her long, straight hair look awesome? I think it makes her look so much younger!

  • August 5, 2016

    Dear Ella – your love for writing shines through every time you take the time out of your busy days to post. Maggie looks like a great addition!

  • August 7, 2016

    Beautiful photos of dogs.

    • August 13, 2016

      Thanks, Tess! They’re fun subjects to capture on camera =)

  • August 21, 2016

    Aspiring post. I really like post like this which resembles the core part of human beings

  • October 7, 2016

    Oh my God, Ella. You’re so beautiful.. and brave! Aren’t you afraid of heights? Those photos of you standing on edges gave me some serious mini heart attacks.

    And Maggie! What a lovely dog. I have 2 golden retrievers and I can’t stop looking at her photos. 🙂

    • October 8, 2016

      Ella asked that I respond on your behalf to thank you—she’d do it herself, but she’s got raw hide sticks to chew and a brand new stuffed hippo to pulverize (reaping the benefits of mom and dad being out of town for two weeks and getting guilt gifts as a result!). 😉

  • March 8, 2017

    great pics! thanks for sharing!

  • April 17, 2017

    Thanks for sharing! Awesome pictures =)

Leave a Comment

GET MY POSTS DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX
+ Sign up and receive your free copy of my eBook