Summary: Pigeon Forge is a popular tourist destination in Tennessee, known for its beautiful scenery, vibrant community, and numerous attractions. While many of these attractions come with a price tag, there are also plenty of free activities available. Here are some of the top free attractions in Pigeon Forge.
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the main reasons why people visit Pigeon Forge. The park spans across Tennessee and North Carolina and offers visitors a chance to explore breathtaking mountain views, waterfalls, historic buildings, and walking trails. With over 800 miles of hiking trails, this park provides boundless opportunities for adventure and natural beauty. There’s plenty to see and do in the area, all without spending a dollar. Visitors can pack a picnic, hike around scenic locations, or attend ranger-led programs. On certain days, you can even witness local artisans demonstrating their skills at the Visitor Center.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers ample opportunity for wildlife viewing as well, including more than 200 species of birds, elk, bears, deer, foxes, and wild turkeys. Remember to observe wildlife from a safe distance and to keep your food and trash secured to protect both the animals and yourself.
With endless exploration possibilities and free activities available throughout the park, it’s easy to spend an entire day enjoying the breathtaking beauty of the area.
2. Patriot Park
Patriot Park is a spacious public park situated just behind Old Mill Square in Pigeon Forge. The focal point of the park is a 1/3-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., honoring those who have served our country. Along with the memorial, visitors can also enjoy a large pavilion, picnic tables, a walking trail, several small water features, and a playground for kids. The park is perfect for a leisurely afternoon stroll, family picnic, or simply some quiet time surrounded by nature. If you visit during the holiday season, you’ll also be treated to some impressive Christmas light displays.
Patriot Park plays host to numerous community events throughout the year, including the 4th of July celebration, Veterans Day parade, and Christmas festival. Keep an eye out for local happenings and plan your trip accordingly to experience the community at its finest.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax or a fun place for kids to play, Patriot Park is a great option to consider. Best of all – it’s free!
3. The Old Mill
Located just next door to Patriot Park is the iconic Old Mill Square in Pigeon Forge. The centerpiece of the square is, as the name suggests, an old mill that continues to operate and produce flour and grain to this day. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the mill and learn about the history and importance of mills in the area. It’s not every day that you get to witness history in action, so make sure to add this unique and informative stop to your itinerary. Be sure to stop by the General Store for some delicious baked goods and specialty items produced onsite.
The Old Mill Square is much more than a mill, however. You’ll also find a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options here, all set among a charming natural landscape. End your day with a stroll around the area, finding some souvenirs, and enjoying the view of the water wheel turning.
While some of the activities at the square are paid, admiring the Old Mill and touring the mill is completely free! Visit the mill and discover firsthand how a little bit of history can create an enchanting experience.
4. Pigeon Forge Greenway
The Pigeon Forge Greenway is the perfect place to stretch your legs and take in some sights while you’re in town. The trail stretches for five miles, connecting locations through downtown Pigeon Forge along the Little Pigeon River. Along the way, visitors can stop at various businesses and entertainment spots or simply enjoy the scenery. The Greenway is convenient and offers minimal travel congestion, so consider walking or biking if you feel like saving on gas or getting some exercise.
The Greenway is also ideal for nature lovers, bird watchers, and photographers, with various wildflowers and trees blooming along the trail. Keep an eye out for the towering oaks and sycamores, as well as deer and other wildlife commonly seen along the banks of the Little Pigeon River.
To find the trailhead, look for the Mainstay Suites Pigeon Forge sign, just off of Teaster Lane. From there, walk past the hotel’s pool area, and you’ll find yourself on the winding pathway. If you prefer to drive in and park by the Greenway, you can find a parking lot sometime near the Pigeon Forge Community Center.
5. Dollywood’s Sweet Summer Nights
If you happen to visit during the summer season, make sure to check out Dollywood’s Sweet Summer Nights, a spectacular event held in the world-renowned Dollywood Park. During the summertime, the park stays open until 9 p.m., and visitors can enjoy special evening attractions every night, including colorful firework displays, themed parties, and live music performances. The best part? Access to these nightly events is completely free with your admission to the park.
There’s no denying the energy and excitement that comes with summer nights, and Dollywood knows how to make the most of them. Take advantage of this money-saving opportunity and enjoy some additional leisurely time in the park.
It’s only a brief glimpse into what Dollywood has to offer, but especially with Sweet Summer Nights, it’s a perfect opportunity to experience the cheerful, thrilling fun of the park without breaking the bank.
Pigeon Forge may be known for its range of attractions, including go-karting, zip-lining, and theme parks, but there are plenty of free activities to enjoy as well. From exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to exploring parks and greenways, you can have loads of fun without spending a dime. You can take scenic drives, visit historic spots or just spend the day admiring the area’s natural beauty, making Pigeon Forge a great destination to enjoy on a budget. Follow these helpful proposals to plan an affordable, yet exciting, trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee!