Feeling Great in Pigeon Forge!

The Island, Pigeon Forge, Great Smoky Mountains is a great destination for the entire family!

The Island, Pigeon Forge, Great Smoky Mountains is a great destination for the entire family!

No trip to Pigeon Forge would be complete without a trip to the world famous Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country. If you want to get wet or enjoy the thrill of an amusement ride they have you covered. Dolly adds a new ride to the amusement park annually and has some of the best roller coasters in the world. One of the most popular new rides is the Screaming Eagle. After your turn, we think you’ll agree that it was not the eagles who were screaming on that ride! Dollywood also has a great selection of music venues on site with performers from all over the world. If you want to slow down the pace a bit from roller coasters and terrifyingly high water slides, take a ride back in time on the authentic steam locomotive. Just imagine what it would have been like to do your vacation via this form of travel. At five miles an hour it might be just the pace you need to get into that Smoky Mountain frame of mind.

Pigeon Forge is truly on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains. U.S. Highway 321 connects the town to the National Park via a stretch of road known locally as The Spur. This scenic five mile drive offers trout fishing in the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River as well as views of the Great Smoky Mountains, native wildflowers, and wildlife. Please, for your safety and theirs, do not feed the wildlife.

Beautiful views from your cabin in the Smokies

In town the options are bountiful. If you enjoy live entertainment, then you’ll love the many theaters in Pigeon Forge where you can make it dinner and a show all in one place! Do you enjoy the thrill of racing a go-kart, shooting down the tracks of an alpine coaster, dinner and show, or maybe just kicking back in a quiet spot to enjoy the view? It is all here plus annual special events like car shows and rod runs in the spring and fall. Dolly’s Homecoming Parade in spring and Wilderness Wildlife Week in winter. If shopping is your passion then get your credit card warmed up. The choices seem to be endless from the classic mall experience to new open air facilities like The Island. You never know if you may rub elbows with the likes of Paula Deen at her new restaurant, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen or Jimmy Buffet while you are visiting the new Margaritaville Hotel and Restaurant. Just try not to be too star struck to enjoy everything they have to offer!

One of the most commonly asked questions in Pigeon Forge after getting directions to Dollywood is how did they come up with the name Pigeon Forge? In the day of the Cherokee and early European settlers the Passenger Pigeon was abundant in our area. The Passenger Pigeon was one of the most beautiful birds in North America but now sadly is extinct due to over hunting. There are eyewitness accounts that these birds were once so numerous that mighty oak tree branches would snap like twigs under the weight of their mass roosting. The Forge part of the name Pigeon Forge was given rise by the pig iron forges that once were located along the banks of the Little Pigeon River. Pig iron is an inexpensive brittle form of metal that was used to make the necessary tools of daily life. Even now you may be lucky enough to discover remnants of this operation along the river bank. Today the beautiful Patriot Park is located on the grounds of the former forge operation.

Adjacent to Patriot Park, where you can park and jump onto the Fun Time Trolley and get just about anywhere you want to go for a super low price, is Pigeon Forge’s historic gem The Old Mill. This water powered grist-mill has been in operation since 1830 and is now part of a The Old Mill Square complex that is a mix of restaurants, a distillery,  bakery, and craft shops. The Old Mill Square is a great place to spend an afternoon and don’t forget to dine outside in the beautiful gardens of Pottery House Cafe & Grill.

For more information, or to order a Pigeon Forge Vacation Guide, contact the Pigeon Forge Chamber of Commerce at 855-716-6199 or the Pigeon Forge Dept. of Tourism at 800-251-9100.