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Blog > Pigeon Forge News 2014
Experience Winter in East Tennessee

There’s no denying it: Winter is a magical time of year to visit Pigeon Forge. From WinterFest’s twinkling lights to the hustle and bustle of the Parkway, there’s so much to experience here this time of year.

In the nearby Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Mother Nature dresses up the mountain scape for the season, too. You’ll find that the winter months turn the park into a true treasure, with abundant opportunities for wildlife viewing, scenic landscapes and much more. In fact, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park recently landed on Fox News’s and The Active Times’ list of “Picturesque National Parks to Visit in the Wintertime.” Though we’re not surprised to see GSMNP take home this honor, we are a little let down that our region’s local and state parks are missing out on the excitement. There are tons of other areas to explore in East Tennessee this time of year, and we’re eager to help you get there.

Here are three other Smoky Mountain-area parks to visit this winter:

1. Patriot Park, Pigeon Forge
If you’re looking for the epicenter of the Winterfest celebration, head to Patriot Park. See the lights up close and in person through February and even climb aboard a Funtime Trolley here for a guided tour. Walk around the park’s paved trail and see the sights of the season. Patriot Park is located right behind the historic Old Mill in Pigeon Forge.

2. Douglas Lake
Take in views of the Douglas Dam and Great Smoky Mountains from the popular picnic areas around Douglas Lake. This park, located just a few miles east of Pigeon Forge, is a great place to stop for a lunch al fresco on a mild winter day. 513 miles of shoreline around the reservoir provide ample opportunities for wildlife viewing and more! To get there, take Interstate 40 east to exit 407. Go south on state route 66 then 3.5 miles east on state route 139, then 2.5 miles south on state route 338, then follow signs 1 mile north.

3. Memorial River Trail Greenway
Bundle up and take in the sights, sounds and smells of a Smoky Mountain winter by taking a stroll along the Memorial River Trail Greenway. This paved walking path takes you along the Little Pigeon River through Sevierville and lets you take in the bare terrain and winter wildlife without leaving the comforts of the city. To take a stroll along the Greenway, look for a parking area between the Landmark Inn and the Shoney's on Forks of the River Parkway. You can also find a second parking area just west of the bridge on Chapman Highway in Sevierville, past the Walgreens and Farmer's Co-op.

What’s your favorite way to explore nature in the winter? Share your thoughts at the PigeonForge.com Facebook page! While you’re at it, click to PigeonForge.com’s contest page for a chance to win our Winter Dreams Giveaway for a chance to experience a free Smoky Mountain adventure.
Posted: 12/18/2014 4:30:41 PM by Jessica Bookstaff Doppelt | with 0 comments

Winter Dreams Giveaway

Get out of a winter rut by entering PigeonForge.com’s latest contest, the Winter Dreams Giveaway! This time we’ve partnered with few of our Smoky Mountain friends to offer up a prize package sure to make even Scrooge smile.

The winner will get to melt away any lingering holiday stress with a free night at Wilderness at the Smokies resort in Sevierville, two tickets to Legacy Ziplines in Pigeon Forge, and a heart-pumping experience on the tracks for two at Xtreme Racing in Pigeon Forge. This winter vacation offers you a chance to enjoy some of the best of the Smokies this winter – on us!

To enter, click over to PigeonForge.com/Coupons/Contests. Find the “Winter Dreams Giveaway” link, and click through to find a form where you can enter your name, e-mail address and sign up for our weekly e-newsletter! Entering couldn’t be easier, and the rewards are great!

Hurry – the contest ends at midnight on Tuesday, December 30. The winner will be announced via PigeonForge.com’s blog and social media channels on January 7, 2015. Start your new year with some Smoky Mountain fun thanks to our Winter Dreams Giveaway!
Posted: 12/16/2014 2:17:47 PM by Jessica Bookstaff Doppelt | with 0 comments

2014 Festival of Christmas Past
Get into the old-time holiday spirit this weekend in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. For the 39th year in a row, the park is spreading Appalachian cheer at the Festival of Christmas Past Celebration, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday December 13 at the Sugarlands Visitor Center.

Festival of Christmas PastThis down-home style festival shows off historic Smoky Mountain Christmas culture through traditional mountain music, storytelling, folk arts and more. Attending the festival is like taking a step back in time and experiencing the holidays like generations of folks who have called our corner of Southern Appalachia home.

What can attendees expect at the Festival of Christmas Past? Old-time mountain music and traditional harp singing will fill the air, while demonstrations of traditional domestic skills and mountain crafts like home-spun fabric, historic toys and games, rag rugs, apple-head dolls, quilts and fresh-pressed apple cider will be ongoing throughout the day. Not only will you have a chance to see the folk artists at work, but you’ll also find opportunities for hands-on experiences and chases to make crafts you can take with you.

If you’re looking to really explore holiday history, consider participating in the Christmas Memories Walk. These guided walks leave the nature center and head into the woods with in-depth information about how the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains have set the scene for centuries of holiday celebrations, with special homage paid to holidays in the early days of the 1880s to the 1930s. Walks depart at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and will take about an hour and a half. Other events on tap at this year’s Festival of Christmas Past include:

  • 9:30 a.m. “Old-fashioned Harp Singing” led by Bruce Wheeler, Paul Clabo and Martha Graham
  • 11a.m. Old Time Music with Boogertown Gap Band
  • 12 p.m. “Stories from the Past” presented by the Smoky Mountain Historical Society
  • 1 p.m. Stories of old-time Christmas in Appalachia with Sparky and Rhonda Rucker
  • 2 p.m. Bill Proffitt and South of the River Boys preform
  • 3p.m. Old Time Music with Lost Mill String Band
Sugarlands Visitor Center is nestled just inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, closest to the Gatlinburg entrance. The address is 1420 Little River Gorge Rd. in Gatlinburg. For additional information, click over to NPS.gov.

Find more holiday happenings at PigeonForge.com and PigeonForgeWinterfest.com!

Posted: 12/10/2014 4:23:03 PM by Jessica Bookstaff Doppelt | with 0 comments

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Laughing until we had tears. I’ve never seen anything like the look on my kids’ faces when we drove down the Parkway past Pigeon Forge attractions. Our hotel was so vibrant and the staff was upbeat and helpful. Pigeon Forge is the brightest spot in the Smoky Mountains. The high energy (and clean language) shows we saw in theaters had everyone in my family clapping their hands…even “sour” Uncle George.

Mary Parker - Mobile, AL

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