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Things To Do Outdoors In Pigeon Forge (PLUS Post COVID-19 Guide)

The following is a paid partnership on behalf of Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. However, All opinions are my own. Regarding the Pigeon Forge attractions & businesses mentioned in this blog, please check their respective websites for an update on their COVID-19 operational updates.

For more information on Pigeon Forge, visit their official website

Amongst the rolling Great Smoky Mountains lies one of the most fun family-centered vacation destinations of the South. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is bursting with entertainment while the breathtaking mountain views allow you to connect with nature. It’s been a family-favorite destination of ours since our first visit ten years ago. The city offers more than ever and now is the perfect time to plan your visit.

Wondering what’s new at Pigeon Forge? I’m proud to report that the city is doing their part to welcome guests post COVID-19, and make them feel safe, while still offering all of the fun that families flock to the city for. From individual family cabins to hotels with social distancing measures in place, they’ve got diverse accommodations to choose from. 

I’ve got your Pigeon Forge outdoor bucket list that will help you plan your upcoming family vacation – one that you can feel safe and comfortable about. Your favorite Smoky Mountain destination is open for business and ready for your visit.

#AD Find your own outdoor adventure in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee! I’ve rounded up the BEST outdoor activities for families with tips for adding them to your vacation. #MyPigeonForge

Related: How To Plan A Dollywood Vacation

Things To Do Outdoors In Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Take A Family Hike

Pigeon Forge is a short drive from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Enjoy great views along the hiking trails, the sights and sounds of nature, and experience Southern Appalachian mountain culture. 

The best part of this popular National Park is how it varies season to season. You can experience the foliage change color during the fall, fresh blooms that springtime brings, or a crisp white snowfall during winter. We had a mama bear sighting, saw elk from afar, and our kids loved the Junior Ranger program, which allowed them to learn more about the park.

Check out the Cataract Falls Trail, which is located inside the park. It’s a diverse ¾-mile round-trip trail that offers bridges, a creekside view, and to top it off, a waterfall with a 25-foot drop!

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Go Fishing

Trout fishing is very popular in this Tennessee region. Trout fishing is open year-round and Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers guided fishing excursions with park rangers. You’ll need a Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license as well.

Cool Off With Tubing Down The River

What’s the best way to cool off in Pigeon Forge? Tubing! In my book, it’s also the most fun way to cool off. If you’ve never been tubing, it’s a great alternative to kayaking or canoeing. With a life jacket, even young kids can participate.

The area is known for their crystal clear water and beautiful scenery. Little Pigeon River runs through the city and offers 2.5 miles of water to enjoy. It’s best to call and make a reservation and also check on the weather and the river flow.

There are several outfitters to pick from and they’ll drive you in a shuttle to the launch point. From there, you just sit back and float your worries away!

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Shop Around Town At Outdoor Venues

You can find big brand names in the small town of Pigeon Forge. Whether you’re looking for something unique to Tennessee or boutique shopping, you can find it in the The Island in Pigeon Forge. The area offers a beautiful outdoor space that has plenty of entertainment for the kids, shopping and dining options. It’s a great place to sip a cocktail while people watching. We love to go and watch the sunset over the mountain range.

If you’re on the hunt for unique souvenirs from the area, you can find local art, homemade sweets and hand-crafted artisan jewelry at shops on The Island. Reserve an evening on your vacation itinerary for this all-in-one attraction.

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Go On A Zipline Tour

Take your adventures to the tree tops and see some of the best views that Pigeon Forge has to offer. You’ll feel a rush of adrenaline as you soar tree to tree in your own harness. Witness the amazing beauty of nature, while enjoying this action-packed adventure as a family.

Dollywood Theme Park

I love a great theme park and I think Dollywood might be the friendliest ones! Dolly Parton put a lot of love into her creation of Dollywood and it’s a beloved spot for locals. This outdoor entertainment destination offers live music, thrill rides and specialty foods that are unique to the park.

Last year, the park opened Wildwood Grove – and it’s the park’s largest expansion in history. The area offers plenty of activities for little ones while the newest roller coaster, Dragon Flier, offers a fast and exciting ride against the mountain backdrop. 

Since reopening in the early spring, Dollywood has adopted new safety measures to protect guests. They limit the park’s daily capacity, masks are required for ages 3 and up, temperature screenings occur prior to  admission, additional sanitation measures are taken, and social distancing is mandated in all areas. Their “play safe” philosophy, along with already being an outdoor venue, is another great reason to add Dollywood to your bucket list.

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With Pigeon Forge’s close proximity to so many cities, it can easily be a weekend getaway! You’ll be amazed that there’s so much to do and that you can also escape from everything to enjoy the solidarity of nature. Your Pigeon Forge family vacation will be full of unforgettable fun that every generation will enjoy.

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