The weather and scenery are so beautiful in this part of Tennessee that you’ll want to plan lots of time outdoors. That’s easy to do in Pigeon Forge and beyond because there’s so much going on.
For starters, Pigeon Forge is just five miles north of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so nature lovers must plan a day there. Within the heavily forested mountains of the park, you can recreate on some 800 trails punctuated by babbling brooks, waterfalls and a great variety of fauna and flora. If you’re lucky, you’ll capture the mountains on a misty morning and see the blue-ish, smoke-like hues that inspired the Great Smoky Mountains name. Know that even if you’re not an athletic type, you can still enjoy the magnificent nature of this land by taking one of the many scenic drives found within the park.
If you’re looking for manmade thrills, head over to Dollywood and hit the jumble of rides and attractions there. You can either go soft with a choo-choo ride on the Dollywood Express, an authentic coal-fired steam train that takes you on a breathtaking five-mile journey through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains or you can go big with the Drop Line, a twenty-story tall free-fall ride that guarantees a thrilling finish. There’s also Dollywood’s Splash Country Water Park that’s a fantastic place to be on a hot summer’s day. (Actually the weather can be great in these parts for that kind of water fun in the spring and fall, too.)
For the real deal on the water, take a whitewater rafting trip with Big Creek Expeditions in Hartford. Make a full day of it and line up some ziplining or horseback riding there, too.
Speaking of water, did you know that Pigeon Forge gets its name from the Little Pigeon River, which was named so because back in the day of the first Euro-American settlers’ arrivals, passenger pigeons used to flock on the banks of that river. Go figure!
More horseback riding and ziplining can be found at Next to Heaven Ranch in Townsend. Don’t you just love that name? Experience nature in all of its glory on those horseback adventures.
Douglas Lake is a lovely place to immerse yourself in nature particularly if you’re into boating. Make Mountain Cove your base for either the day or a week. You can grab a bite at their outdoor cafe, camp there or best of all rent a pontoon boat. Did somebody say PARTY?
For all kinds of four wheel fun, check out Bluff Mountain Rentals in Pigeon Forge. If you’re into ATVs, this is the place for you.
This is just a sample of the many attractions you’ll find in and around Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Wears Valley. Can you believe that there are about seventy different ones along the Parkway? You’ll find everything from miniature golf to goat petting.
In Sevierville, shopping definitely qualifies as an outdoor activity. The town boasts two large outlet malls that include some outdoor stores and markets. In addition to terrific name brand outlet shopping, you’ll find all kinds of boutiques, galleries and even flea markets and antique stores. Have fun and don’t forget your stylin’ shades. Or, just buy some there.