How to Plan a Weekend Trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

How to Plan a Weekend Trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
A few miles from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pigeon Forge is a convenient jumping-off point for exploring one of our nation's finest parks. The town has a population of just over 5,000. However, it largely depends upon the 9 million annual visitors to the national park. As such, any visit will have the park in mind.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Day pack Water bottle Maps Hiking shoes Sneakers Sunscreen
  • Day pack
  • Water bottle
  • Maps
  • Hiking shoes
  • Sneakers
  • Sunscreen
Step 1
Pack for many different conditions. If you are staying in Pigeon Forge you'll probably seek out both the rugged natural opportunities of the national park and the more laid-back sights around town. You'll need clothing appropriate for both the trail and around town.
Step 2
Purchase maps. While Pigeon Forge has become tourist-focused in recent years, expect fo find yourself occasionally confused on back roads. You will also find maps useful inside the park. While trails are well-marked, the sheer number can be baffling, making it hard to tell whether a particular trail is well-suited to your abilities or inclinations. It's useful to have both trail maps and United States Geological Survey topographical maps to give you a sense of the terrain.
Step 3
Prepare for the elements in advance. Rain is not uncommon, so you will likely want rain gear that can be stowed into a day pack. Perhaps more dangerous is the sun. While much of Tennessee, including Pigeon Forge, is wooded, there are many areas, particularly at higher elevations, where the rocky terrain restricts the growth of shading trees. Some trails are largely exposed to the sun, making sunscreen an absolute must.
Step 4
Hydrate frequently. Whether you are running around Dollywood, where the sun beats down and the French fries are salty, or climbing Clingman's Dome, the dangers of dehydration are very real. Moreover, the high elevations can compound the dangers of elevations sickness and dehydration.

Article Written By Louie Doverspike

Based in Seattle, Louie Doverspike has been a professional writer since 2004. His work has appeared in various publications, including "AntiqueWeek" magazine, the "Prague Post" and "Seattle Represent!" Doverspike holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hamilton College.

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