Here are a few frequently asked questions about Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Where is Pigeon Forge?
What’s the distance from Pigeon Forge to Gatlinburg?
From the southern portion of the Pigeon Forge parkway, the city is located about 10 minutes (just over 5 miles) north of Gatlinburg.
How far is Pigeon Forge from Knoxville, TN?
Knoxville is located northwest of Pigeon Forge and is roughly 30 miles away from the city line. From east Knoxville it is about a 45 minute drive. From west Knoxville, about an hour.
How do I get around Pigeon Forge traffic?
The best thing you can do to avoid traffic on the Pigeon Forge parkway is start early; traffic moves much more smoothly in the morning. Peak traffic is typically in the afternoon hours. Occassionally, Veteran's Boulevard (from 411 in Sevierville to Teaster Lane in south Pigeon Forge) can be a faster alternative than the parkway.
During the winter months, the parkway is more heavily trafficked at night with visitors viewing Winterfest lights. From about March to September, it's a good idea to check the Pigeon Forge car show schedule as the bigger shows tend to bring in much more traffic. See tips for getting around Rod Runs traffic. You should also check out events at LeConte Center, particularly in the months of January - March; many large retreats occur in those months and bring in crowds of visitors.
Where can I park?
Check out parking options on our free parking in Pigeon Forge page.
What is the weather like in Pigeon Forge?
The table below shows the average high and low temperatures for Pigeon Forge each month of the year.
|27° / 50°||30° / 54°||36° / 63°||43° / 72°||52° / 78°||60° / 84°||64° / 87°||63° / 86°||57° / 81°||45° / 72°||36° / 62°||30° / 53°|
Tennessee enjoys mild winters and summers. Spring arrives to stay in mid-April, although warm weather begins to appear in mid-March. Temperatures are in the upper nineties during the hottest part of the summer. Afternoon thunderstorms are not rare during the summer so it is a good idea to be mindful of the potential for storms as the day heats up.
The summer heat lasts until late September, when cooler weather begins to settle in, bringing with it the color spectacular of changing leaves in the Smokies, which peak in mid to late October, depending on weather conditions such as the amount of rain as well as duration and frequency of cool nights.
Snow is possible in the Pigeon Forge Area from late November through late March, but accumulation is not always guaranteed when snow begins to fall. Bear in mind that higher elevations in the mountains will have different weather. The Smoky Mountains are a temperate rainforest because when warm moist air from the valley ascends into the cooler air of the mountains, the water vapor in the air condenses and rain falls. The highest elevations in the Great Smoky Mountains are comparable to Canada in terms of weather and even wildlife.
Why is it called Pigeon Forge? How do you pronounce Sevierville?
Pigeon Forge is the site of a historic iron forge, or blacksmith's shop, on the banks of the Little Pigeon River that served residents of the area. The pigeon in Pigeon Forge comes from the passenger pigeon, an extinct bird native to the area that once darkened the skies when flocks took flight. The last passenger pigeon died at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914.
The pronunciation of Sevierville is a source of frustration for many visitors. Sevierville is the county seat of Sevier County. Sevier County is named for the Revolutionary War Hero John Sevier of the celebrated "Overmountain Men" who fought the pivotal Battle of King's Mountain in South Carolina. Sevier's name is pronounced the same as "severe." Sevierville was named in the same tradition of naming communities after famous individuals that found names for the Tennessee communities of Knoxville, Nashville, and Greeneville.
What restaurants are open on Thanksgiving and Christmas?
Where can I find discount Dollywood tickets?
While tickets for Dollywood are one of the most difficult things to find discounts for, we have a guide on ways to find discount Dollywood tickets.
Are there any military discounts in Pigeon Forge?
What pet friendly lodging is available?
Are dogs allowed in the national park?
Dogs are only allowed in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in designated areas such as campgrounds and picnic areas. Dogs are not allowed on hiking trails with the exception of the Gatlinburg Trail and Oconaluftee Trail. Read more about dogs in the national park.
Can I get cell phone service in the national park?
While it's not impossible to get cell phone service in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (especially at higher elevations), most of the time cell coverage is not available or extremely limited. You will have better luck in the areas closest to Gatlinburg.
Is there a Smoky Mountains entrance fee?
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park does not have an entry fee; however, the park has approved a new parking tag system effective March 1, 2023. Visitors do not need a permit to drive through the park, but will require a parking pass to park in any designated parking area for longer than 15 minutes. Pricing is $5 for a day pass, $15 for up to a week, and $40 for an annual pass.
You can read more about the new system and purchase a pass when they become available on the national park website.