Pokémon in Pigeon Forge

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Pokémon have been spotted all over Pigeon Forge and visitors are having a a blast catching all the different pokemon and meeting other visitors doing the same.  In the heart of Pigeon Forge in the Old Mill area and in downtown Sevierville by the courthouse, our staff found a slew of Pokemon and gyms.

Pigeon forge pokemon         pokemon in pigeon forge         pokemon stops

East Tennessee played an important role in the Civil War. These historic sites can be visited on the Civil War Trails. Many of the stops like the Old Mill give historial insight how the areas residents contributed to the war.


old mill civil war unionWhen the Civil began, Sevier County Unionists at first operated quietly in secessionist Tennessee. In 1861, they set up a secret garment factory in the second floor of the mill and made cloth for the uniforms. They also made shoes for Federal soldiers and Unionist Home Guards with leather from Newton Trotter’s nearby tannery. According to local tradition, the third floor was later used as a hospital. Cpt. William Trotter, son of mill owner John Trotter, commanded Co. H, Night Tennessee Cavalry. After Tennessee’s vote for secession on June 8th 1861, East Tennessee Unionists formed Home Guard units. Sevier County loyalists established their unit in August 1861. The Home Guard was a militia type group that protected the lives and property on local unionists. The guard initially drilled openly, but when Confederates occupied the county, many members we underground.


Make the most of your Pigeon Forge vacation and learn a little bit of history while having fun playing Pokemon Go!

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Road Trip Stops In The Smokies

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Taking a scenic drive through the Smoky Mountains? Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to stop and enjoy what this beautiful park has to offer. Plus, building in time on your road trip to get out and go for a hike will help you to stretch those legs after sitting in the car for a long time!

Here are some stops along the way in the Smoky Mountains that will give you plenty to explore on your next road trip.

The Gatlinburg Trail

The Gatlinburg Trail is a great place to stop, get out of the car and stretch your legs with a nice scenic walk. The stunning trail will treat you to gorgeous mountain vistas and it is approximately 3.8 miles round trip. There are informational placards around the trail, so you can learn about the flora and fauna and history of the local area.

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Abram’s Falls

Another Smoky Mountain stop is the trail hike to Abram’s Falls, which is recommended on the Trekaroo Blog. The walk is a short one that will take you to one of the many lovely waterfalls in the park with a pleasant 2.5-mile trek. It’s an ideal walk if you are travelling with little ones and a great way to see more of the forest – so take your time and enjoy the natural beauty and tranquillity.

Cove Hardwood Nature Trail

Road Trip USA recommends the Cove Hardwood Nature Trail, which will wind through some of the tranquil and beautiful maple trees of the park. This is a great place to go for a walk in the fall, because the forest will be alive with the lovely oranges, reds, yellows and browns of the foliage.

Grotto Falls

Another popular park destination recommended in the same blog by Road Trip USA is Grotto Falls, which is located southeast of Gatlinburg along the Roaring Fork Road. There you will find a short, flat trail along a tumbling cascade that will lead you through a thick and beautiful hemlock forest. It’s a fascinating place for nature lovers to explore and you will find plenty of salamanders slithering underfoot and mushrooms in the dense forest undergrowth.

Campbell Overlook

If you want to be awestruck by stunning views, stop at the Campbell Overlook that is located just off the wonderfully scenic Newfound Gap Road. This viewpoint offers excellent views of Mount LeConte and the surrounding forests, especially during the autumn when the leaves are changing colour. Make sure that you bring your camera with you to capture some of the stunning views – the National Geographic website recommends this spot as a great photo op.

These are just a few great suggestions for road trip stops in the Great Smoky Mountains, so make sure that you build lots of extra time into your trip so that you can stop and check them out.

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All About the Bears of the Smoky Mountains

Bears Of The Smokies

Bears of the Smokies

What kind of bears live in the Smoky Mountains?


The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the biggest protected areas in the USA where black bears live in the wild in their natural habit. There are bears living throughout the park and biologists estimate that the population is around 1,500 – which means there is an average of two bears every square mile.

Black Bears

Bears are beautiful and intriguing creatures and seeing one is an unforgettable experience. Some of the best places to see bears are along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, the Little River Auto Tour and the 11-mile loop around Cades Cove. However, they can also be dangerous if they are threatened and they decide to attack – so make sure that you give them plenty of space and do not approach them.


Fascinating Bear Facts

  • Black bears in the Smokies are almost always black, but in other areas of the country they can be cinnamon colored or brown.
  • The habitat of the black bear ranges from far north in Canada all the way down to Mexico and Central America.
  • The black bear typically eats bees, moths, termites, berries, honey, fruit, acorns and nuts. They will also scavenge for carrion.
  • Black bears are typically solitary animals who forage alone, except for mothers with their cubs.

What To Do If You See A Bear In The Wild

Remember that bears are wild animals and their behavior can be unpredictable. Treat then with extreme caution and do not approach them. Avoid leaving food out as this will attract bears and dispose of all food scraps and garbage in a bear proof garbage container.

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A good guideline is that if your presence causes the bear to change its behavior (i.e.: it begins to watch you, stops feeding, or changes direction), then you are too close. If the bear starts to move toward you or make noise, slowly back away and increase the distance between yourself and the bear – it will likely do the same. Black bears will only attack humans if they feel threatened or if they are protecting their cubs.

If the bear gets closer, you can shout at it and act aggressively to intimidate it. Throw rocks and move to higher ground to appear larger. Don’t turn and run away. Do not play dead and if the bear attacks try to fight back with any available object.


Appalachian Bear Rescue

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The Appalachian Bear Rescue is a center designed to help black bears in the Great Smoky Mountains. It’s located in Townsend, Tennessee and it takes in orphaned and injured young black bears and takes care of them until they are healthy enough to be released back into the wild.

Their goal is to get the bears healthy as quickly as possible and then release them, so that the bears do not get habituated to living around humans – which could cause problems for them in the future. You can learn more about Appalachian Bear Rescue at their website.

We've been following the story of Finnegan the black bear, in the care of Appalachian Bear Rescue. You can read the story of some of these rescued bears here.

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Scenic Routes Through the Smokies

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Scenic Routes In The Smokies

Why not take a road trip this weekend?

What better way is there to spend a day than cruising through the Smoky Mountains on a scenic road? The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers more than 384 miles of scenic roads to explore, offering you a stunning view around every turn. Here are a few ideas for scenic routes that you can drive on your next road trip.


Cades Cove Loop Road

The one lane meandering paved scenic route from Gatlinburg to Cades Cove is a relaxing drive that shows the majestic beauty of the National Park. Along the way you’ll see a lot of historic structures, including farms, homes and churches. The loop also offers you the chance to see wildlife, maybe even some black bears if you are lucky. It is also the access point for the day hike to Abrams Falls.


Clingman’s Dome Road

A thrilling seven-mile drive, this winding road will take you up to the peak of Clingman’s Dome, the highest peak in Tennessee. You can park in the parking lot at the end of the road and then take the half mile hike to the very peak to reach the observation tower and admire the breathtaking view from the very top.

News: Great Smoky Mountains National Park wins $250K grant to restore Clingmans Dome tower


Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trailautumn fall colors scenic drive

Turn onto the Historic Nature Trail Road in Gatlinburg and take the six-mile loop to the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. This trail offers views of historic cabins, old growth forests and rushing mountain streams along its narrow six-mile stretch of twists and turns. Make sure that you bring the camera – you’ll be in awe of the beauty on every stretch of the track.


Balsam Mountain Heintooga Ridge Road

An exciting drive that overlooks sweeping mountain vistas, the Balsam Mountain/Heintooga Ridge is another excellent adventure in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is a one-way gravel road that overlooks some of the most stunning sweeping mountain vistas in the country. Bring some food with you and follow along Heintooga Ridge Road for around nine miles to a beautiful picnic area – where you can stop and enjoy lunch in the fresh air.


Newfound Gap Road

great smoky mountains national park signNewfound Gap Road is the lowest drivable pass through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and it is said that driving through this gap is like going from Maine to Georgia in terms of the variety of the forest ecosystems and the foliage. When you start in Gatlinburg you’ll begin driving through hardwood and pine-oak forest, and as you gain altitude you’ll ascend to an evergreen spruce fir forest similar to those in Canada.


These are just a few of the most beautiful drives that you can take through the Smoky Mountains. Next time you get a chance to go on an adventure, fill up the tank, put on some great tunes and hit the road to see some of the most beautiful views this national park has to offer!

Pigeon Forge Cabin Rentals With Mountain ViewsStaying a while? Take a look at Pigeon Forge cabin rentals with mountain views. And check out more scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains on our site.

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July 2016 Hot Deals

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Check out these great deals and discounts on cabins, hotels, restaurants, and attractions in Pigeon Forge this July!

Hemlock Hills Resort Rentals
Hemlock Hills Cabin Rentals is offering a $25 discount on a 3 night visit for remaining nights only in July on any cabin.  Excluding holiday, cannot be combined with any other discount, new reservations only.

Cabin Fever Vacations
After July 4, stay 2 nights and receive a 10% discount with promo code CFV0702. Stay 3 nights and receive a 15% discount with promo code CFV0703. Stay 4 nights and receive 1 additional night free with promo code CFV0704.

Patriot Getaways
Huge summer savings – Get 30% OFF one bedroom cabins through July 28! Many with room for up to 8 guests! Stay now through July 28th and save big on your summer holiday! Includes Fourth of July. Requires a minimum 3 nights stay. Applies to certain properties.

Impossibilities of Magic

Impossibilities: An Evening of Magic, Mindreading & Mayhem!
Magical Comedian Chris Collins and Master Mentalist Erik Dobell present an evening of family fun where impossibilities are brought to life right in front of your eyes. Get $4 OFF regular priced adult or senior admission. Not valid with any other offer. Please use promo code PFCOM.

Music Road Resort
SUMMER SAVINGS in July – Stay & Play! Choose tickets to exciting attractions or up to $200 in Restaurant Gift Cards with a 4, 5, 6, or 7 night stay!* Call 855-998-9352 for full details. Click to book a 5-night stay. *Must book directly with Resort. Terms & conditions apply.

Fireside Chalets
Summer Vacation Special: This July pay for 6 nights and receive a 7th night FREE! Ask about our back to school specials today!

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Get Married in the Smokies

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Plan Your Dream Wedding in A Stunning Mountain Setting

Your wedding is a special day that only comes around once, so you’ll want to put a lot of time into planning an event that will be unforgettable. One of the most important aspects of your wedding is the setting, so why not have it in the naturally beautiful Smoky Mountains?

smokies weddingImagine saying your “I Do” to your special someone while surrounded by the thick green forests and craggy peaks of these spectacular mountains. The air is crisp and clean, the sunsets are breathtaking and there are so many beautiful spots to celebrate – from an elegant Victorian chapel to a private mountaintop cabin. Also, there are many great local businesses in the area that will offer you fantastic services – from catering to flowers and décor – in order to make your wedding unforgettable.

Reasons to Get Married in the Smokies

  • Have you seen the gorgeous mountain vistas? You couldn’t wish for a more beautiful backdrop.

  • Your wedding guests can make a vacation out of it and enjoy some of the attractions and activities that the area has to offer, including horseback riding, hiking, dinner shows and much more.

  • It’s affordable. From the marriage license to the venues, the prices here are reasonable so that your wedding doesn’t have to break the bank.

  • The people here are friendly and any vendors will be happy to make your special day memorable.

  • You could combine your wedding with your honeymoon and spend a week in a gorgeous secluded mountain lodge, enjoying each other’s company and the beautiful stillness of the wilderness.

Permits and Licenses

smokies weddingThere are many pre-approved locations within the National Park where you can hold your wedding, including historic churches, mountain rivers, streams and waterfalls. The rules of the National Park mean that you can only have two weddings per day in any of these locations. In order to have the most options, you should make your wedding plans as early as possible.

Of course, in order to have your wedding in the National Park you must have a permit. You must also obtain a Tennessee Marriage License, which you can obtain at the offices of the county clerk in Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg.

The Weather Can Surprise You

If you are planning an outdoor wedding, keep in mind that the weather in the Smoky Mountains can be unpredictable. Make sure that you have arranged for a back-up plan if the weather turns bad on your wedding day. Also, have more than one location planned for your wedding photos in case of weather – or be willing to reschedule them for another day.

The best time of year for a wedding in the Smokies is the fall. The temperatures are not too hot, the weather is mostly pleasant and the leaves are changing to dazzling hues of red, yellow and gold. What a fantastic setting to celebrate your commitment and love for that special someone in your life.

Planning on tying the knot? Check out our Pigeon Forge Wedding Checklist.

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Park Your Cares & Ride With The Bears: The Pigeon Forge Trolley

Pigeon Forge Trolley

Pigeon Forge Trolley

Since 1986, Pigeon Forge’s Fun Time Trolley has provided a safe, affordable, and convenient form of transportation for all visitors and residents alike. With a fleet of more than 30 trolley buses, the trolley stops all throughout Pigeon Forge as well as a portion of Sevierville. Through the summer, the trolly operates from 8:00 AM – midnight, and in November and December from 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM.Patriot Park Sign

Visitors can leave their vehicle parked at the office at 186 Old Mill Avenue (just beside Patriot Park) and relax on the trolley as they enjoy all the sites and destinations like Tanger Outlets, Dixie Stampede, the Historic Old Mill, and even Dollywood!

All it takes is $2.50 for a wristband that allows you to ride all day and get off at any of the stops as many times as you like. If you just need a quick ride from one place to another, you can pay a small individual fare; it’s only 50 cents for North Parkway, South Parkway, Wears Valley, as well as both Dollywood and Dolly’s Splash Country, and it’s 75 cents for the Gatlinburg Welcome Center. When looking for a stop, just find a Fun Time Trolley shelter or a Trolley Bear sign at over a hundred locations.

You can find a trolley running frequently at all of the following routes:

  • Main Street: every 20-25 minutestrolley
  • Wears Valley: every 40-45 minutes
  • Dollywood: every 15-20 minutes
  • Dolly’s Splash Country: every 15-20 minutes
  • Gatlinburg Welcome Center: every 25-30 minutes

Trolley Route Map

For more information on the trolley routes, head over to PigeonForgeTrolley.org for individual route maps. Looking for more ways to save money on your vacation? Check out all three parts of our Budget-Friendly Smokies blog.

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July 4, 2016 In Pigeon Forge

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It’s that time of year again, and you’ll find so much to do in the Smoky Mountain area to celebrate the 4th of July. We put together a list of all the big events that will be going on to help you plan your day. If you need any help finding your way around, take a look at our maps and directions page.

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First Independence Day Parade In The Nation

It all kicks off with the First Independence Day Parade In The Nation in Downtown Gatlinburg. This annual midnight celebration is a Smoky Mountain tradition (going back stars and stripes foreverover 40 years) of saluting the men and women that have bravely served our country. Join the festivities including marching bands, floats, music, and more! This event has previously been recognized as a “Top Ten Parade To See In The US,” one of the “Five Best Fourth of July Celebrations in Smaller Cities, a “Top 20 Event for 2016” by Southeast Tourism Society, and has won multiple Grand Pinnacle Awards by the International Festivities and Events Association.

Gatlinburg River Raft Regatta

A can’t miss even for the temperatures of the 4th of July, Gatlinburg hosts it’s annual River Raft Regatta on the Little Pigeon River in Downtown Gatlinburg. You can enter anything that floats – handmade (“treasure”) or bought (“trash”) – at the Christ in the Smokies bridge on River Road at 10:00 AM. The race begins at noon and trophies will be given out after the regatta’s end at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Awards will go to the top 3 in both categories, as well as a Judges Choice award and one for the oldest and youngest participants.

joe diffie patriot festivalPigeon Forge Patriot Festival

The Independence Day fun begins at noon in Patriot Park, and onstage entertainment including the Pigeon Forge Community Chorus, Allman Brothers Tribute Band, and 2015 finalist from The Voice, Emily Ann Roberts, begins at 1:30 PM, headlining with Joe Diffie at 8:00 PM. At approximately 9:30 PM, following the onstage entertainment, a spectacular fireworks display will bring the festivities to a close. Patriot Festival event parking is free and a trolley shuttle service will run from the Municipal Parking Lot on Teaster Lane right into Patriot Park. Bring lawn chairs and blankets for seating. Umbrellas and coolers will not be allowed.

Tennessee Smokies vs. Jackson

What better way to celebrate Independence Day than with the greatest all-American sport? Head on out to the ballgame at 3540 Line Drive to Smokies Stadium with the family and watch the Tennessee Smokies take on Jackson at 7:05 pm. Can’t make it to this one, but still up for some good ol’ fashioned baseball? The Smokies will be playing Jackson every night from the 4th through the 8th, but you can also check out the Smokies 2016 schedule to find a game that works for you.

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Freedom Train

All aboard the Freedom Train! Join the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad for a fun gsmr logoadventure this Independence Day. After departing from the station in historic Bryson City, the train will travel along the Tuckasegee River and visit a fellow Smoky Mountain town in North Carolina. If you’re looking for a relaxing evening with no rushing or traffic worries, hop onboard the Freedom Train to enjoy American classics like a BBQ picnic-style dinner, a slice of apple pie, spectacular sunset views on the Fontana Trestle, and a visit from Uncle Sam himself!


Need a place to stay for a couple nights? Take a look at our information on Pigeon Forge hotels with mountain views. Or if you’re interested in doing a whole weekend family getaway, maybe you should check out Pigeon Forge cabin rentals with a pool.

After your visit, don’t forget to vote for the Best Of Pigeon Forge 2016!

 

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Pigeon Forge Welcomes the New Courtyard by Marriott

Courtyard

This summer Pigeon Forge will be welcoming a brand new, centrally-located Courtyard by Marriott. This new lodging experience offers a little something for everyone on their adventure to the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.

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The Courtyard Pigeon Forge is conveniently located one block off the Parkway within a short walk to several area restaurants, retail stores, and attractions & theaters, and is just a short drive to Dollywood, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, the Tanger Outlet Mall, and the Knoxville Airport.

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Looking for Pigeon Forge hotels with mountain views? Featuring 137 spacious guest rooms, the Courtyard Pigeon Forge offers smart and modern décor alongside plush bedding and private balconies by the Little Pigeon River and overlooking the mountainous scenery. The engaging public areas and spacious lobby will make any guest feel welcome. Visit the 24-hour Starbucks to satisfy any late night cravings, and The Bistro, offering refreshing breakfast choices in the morning as well as a variety of dinner and cocktail options in the evening.

marriott2The Courtyard Pigeon Forge also offers a quiet walking trail along the riverbanks and an outdoor pool and lazy river when it’s time to cool off. Any group will enjoy the 4,000 square feet of flexible meeting space adjacent to the courtyard for outdoor gatherings.

Among it’s many amenities, the Courtyard also provides WiFi at guests’ convenience and a conference room available for any meeting accommodations. If you’re looking for Pigeon Forge hotels with a game room or fitness center, look no further. Courtyard by Marriott offers multiple activities for all ages.

No matter your summer plans in the Smokies, this beautiful Pigeon Forge hotel with a river view and many guest accommodations will satisfy your lodging needs.

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Best of Pigeon Forge 2016 Voting is Live!

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The Best of Pigeon Forge 2016 voting period is live! Cast your vote for the best Pigeon Forge hotels or the best Pigeon Forge cabins, restaurants, theaters, attractions, bars, moonshine and more! Vote now through August 31, 2016

Click Here to Vote!

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