Have you been thinking about Great Smoky Mountains vacations? According to a 2017 study by the Outdoor Industry of America, adventure tourism in the U.S. is a $524 billion industry. The Great Smoky Mountains provide plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventuring. Pigeon Forge, TN, is one vacation spot where families, vacationers and outdoor enthusiasts can roam free.
However, contrary to conventional wisdom, every vacation does not have to put you back financially. There are four fun, adventurous and free things you can do in Pigeon Forge, for a start.
- Patriot Park. In the midst of Pigeon Forge, Patriot Park is a memorial for our brave warriors who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. There are a plethora of events at Patriot Park. However, there is much to see without having to attend an event. Picnics by the Little Pigeon River are popular. You’ll relax in a beautiful setting and get to watch ducks swim, fish for food and preen. There is a half mile trail that winds around the park. You and your family can take a leisurely walk, spread out your blanket and set up your basket for a picnic, or simply lie down on the grass and enjoy the scenery.
- Fishing. Fishermen and -women alike will enjoy the many fishing spots located in Pigeon Forge. Fish the lower Little Pigeon River, near Patriot Park. Park at Hardin Lane Trailhead or McMahan Indian Mound Trailhead and get your fishing gear! Remember to have your Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license up-to-date and on your person.
- Hiking. There are over 850 miles of trails in the Great Smoky Mountains. There are hiking trails for the beginner to the semi-serious to the advanced hiker. For starters, hike the Gatlinburg or Laurel Falls trails. For the more serious hiker, check out Grotto Falls, Porters Creek, Ramsey Cascades or Chimney Tops. You’ll benefit from the physical exercise of hiking, and you’ll get to enjoy the beauty of wildflowers, waterfalls and wildlife of the Great Smoky Mountains. Best yet, there is no fee to enter Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Great Smoky Mountains vacations cannot be beat.
- Scenic drives. Drive along the many miles of scenic vistas in Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains. Cades Cove Loop is an 11-mile road that takes you through a mountain valley dotted with historic landmarks. Foothills Parkway is a popular drive for families and leisurely drivers. Higher up in elevation, you can drive the cooler climes of Newfound Gap Road.
There are more roads to travel than you’ll have time for, but that will only invite your return to Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains.
There are many adventures to experience in Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains. Many of the adventures are free of charge. Pack up your family, your vacation gear and take enjoy one of several Great Smoky Mountains vacations.