Facts about Pigeon Forge Pigeon Forge is a bustling town, but it has only about 5,800 permanent residents. Visitors can boost the daily population to upwards of 50,000. The temporary population gain is the result of approximately 10,000 lodging units inside the city limits-hotels, motels, condominiums, cabins, log homes and campgrounds. In a year's time, approximately 11 million people visit Pigeon Forge, either for day trips or overnight stays. Pigeon Forge is a gateway to America's most visited national park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Its annual visitation is more than nine million. Great Smoky Mountains National Park covers 800 square miles and is the largest piece of wilderness in the eastern U.S. Every January, Pigeon Forge salutes Great Smoky Mountains National Park with an event called Wilderness Wildlife Week. Almost 100 wildlife experts, nature photographers, historians and musicians present an array of programs and outdoor activities... and it's all free, a gift from the City of Pigeon Forge. Two-thirds of the nation's population east of the Mississippi River lives within a day's drive of Pigeon Forge. Entertainer Dolly Parton, namesake of Dollywood, was born near Pigeon Forge in surrounding Sevier County. Dollywood, which is inside Pigeon Forge, is Tennessee's most visited ticketed tourist attraction. Pigeon Forge has more than a dozen theaters. Because several offer more than one production, visitors can choose among approximately 20 shows-music, comedy, magic and more. Pigeon Forge gets its name from the passenger pigeons that once were abundant in the region and an iron forge that was part of the early settlers' lives. The Old Mill, built in 1830, still operates today, grinding corn and other grains for use in the Old Mill Restaurant and the Pottery House Café and Grille. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. Information Central for Pigeon Forge is on the Web at www.MyPigeonForge.com.