Family activity on vacation (Pigeon Forge)

Hello Dopers,

This is the best place for questions about anything, as you’ve never steered me wrong before.

Next weekend we are leaving for Pigeon Forge. We’ll be spending a week in a cabin and possibly going to Dollywood at least once. Other than that, we really have no definite plans.

Being such a popular destination, I’m sure some of you have opinions. There will be my wife and I (both roughly 30), our children (8, 3, 1) and my mother in law.

I plan on taking both my road bike and mountain bike for morning activities before the family is ready to go do stuff, but no one other than our 8 year old is too interested in riding.

What is nearby that is ridiculously great?

Brendon Small

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is amazing… but it would be difficult bike riding with lots of elevation changes and switchbacks.

The 11 mile Cades Cove loop in the park is closed to cars on Wednesday and Saturday mornings until 10AM. It’s a very pleasant ride.

Your kids will probably like mini-golf with live bunnies. Maybe let them pan for jewels.
Bike riding is not a real issue as pigeon forge is plenty hilly enough without really getting into the mountains.
My favorite place to shop is the Smokey Mountain Knife works.
If you like country music then Dollywood is a good place to go. Quite a bit smaller than a lot of other theme parks. Eat everywhere that isn’t fast food.
When driving over the mountain make sure to hike to Clingmans Dome. You might be in time for the annual firefly festival.

You could take an hour drive to Oak Ridge, and visit the American Museum of Science and Energy.

I agree about Cades Cove. It’s nice.

For me, this may be perfect. I ride on weekends now and typically do roughly 8-10 miles of singletrack a day, but I just did a cross country and enduro race last month and I’m hoping to get into some decent trails while I’m there.

Of course, for everyone else in my family, they may not enjoy it as much. :slight_smile:

Definitely do this. Cades Cove is typically a traffic jam of tourists in the summer, but the Saturday/Wednesday ride is wonderful.

Random thoughts:

The Laurel Falls hike is popular with families because it’s short and paved. The same with Look Rock on the Foothills Parkway in Townsend (lots of overlooks, too). If you want to try your endurance, ride your bike over the Parkway.

The views from Chimney Tops is great, but it’s a strenuous hike.

If you like twisty roads and motorcycles, take a ride on 129-The Dragon to Deals Gap. It’s got over 300 curves in 11 miles.

The Tuckaleechee Caves are a good way to cool off. Same with tubing on the Little River.

The Smokies minor league baseball is close by. They do lots of events at their games like fireworks, bands, giveaways and such.

Pigeon Forge is full of ridiculously tacky touristy things. Go cart tracks, helicopter rides and dinner theaters (Lumberjack Feud, Hatfield & McCoys, Dixie Stampede, some bible thing). There’s even a replica of the Titanic for some reason. Of course Gatlinburg is just down the road. These areas do get extremely crowded, so be prepared!

There’s a cool alpine coaster just outside of town, along with zipline tours.

Knoxville is very close by if you want to hit some bars or restaurants. Just head to Market Square and walk around. They also have an okay zoo. That week they’re doing a Brewfest, Pridefest, and Slide the City.

There’s some great mountain biking at Knoxville Urban Wilderness and Haw Ridge Park.

Urban Wilderness
Haw Ridge
Alpine Coaster
Cades Cove
Laurel Falls
Look Rock
Chimney Tops
The Dragon
Tuckaleechee Caverns
Smokies Baseball
Slide the City
Let me know if you need more info on a specific topic. I’ll post more ideas as I think of them.