Fun Facts About Pigeon Forge
So how much do you really know about Pigeon Forge? Whether you’ve been bringing your families here to vacation for many years or if you’ve just been introduced to this beautiful mountain town, we thought we’d share a few fun facts about Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains area that you may not know about.
- So how did Pigeon Forge get its name? The first part of Pigeon Forge’s name comes from the Little Pigeon River, which got its name from the many passenger pigeons that once roosted on the banks of the river. The second part of the name comes from an iron forge that was built by Isaac Love in 1817. The forge is located near the Old Mill.
- The city has around 7,000 permanent residents but there are millions of visitors to this well-loved city each year. With lots of great attractions such as Dollywood, top-notch entertainment, an abundance of things to do in the Smoky Mountains and so much more, it’s easy to see why Pigeon Forge is one of the most popular family vacation destinations in the Southeast.
- Two-thirds of the nation’s population east of the Mississippi River lives within a day’s drive of Pigeon Forge. The city is a mere 33 miles southeast of Knoxville, four miles south of Sevierville, and five miles north of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States. It’s also one of the most biologically diverse locations in the world. And it’s a great place to spot a variety of wildlife, with over 400 species of animals that live in the park.
- So how did the Smoky Mountains get their name? The first settlers to inhabit the portion of the Appalachian Mountains now known as the Smokies were the Cherokee who called the place Shaconage, which means ‘place of blue smoke.’
- Located within Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Clingman’s Dome. Standing at 6,643 feet, it’s the highest point in Tennessee and the third highest point in the eastern United States. An observation tower is located at the end of the half-mile paved trail, where visitors can see for hundreds of miles on a clear day.
- Cade’s Cove is the most visited area in Great Smoky Mountains National Park as well as one of the most historic areas. The area is home to cabins, barns, gristmills, stores and other buildings constructed by early settlers, before the area became a national park.
- Dollywood is one of the most visited attractions in Tennessee. It is open from late March through December and attracts more than 2 million guests each year. And Dolly Parton, herself, still makes guest appearances to the city each year.
- The Dollywood theme park was originally an attraction named Rebel Railroad and included a steam engine, general store, blacksmith shop and saloon. The attraction became Goldrush Junction in 1970 and then Silver Dollar City in 1976. It wasn’t until 1986 that the park was rebranded as Dollywood.
- Flags from all 50 states and the branches of the armed forces fly in Patriot Park. There is also a replica Liberty Bell and a Patriot Missile that was used in the first Gulf War.
- The Historic Old Mill, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is the most historic building in Pigeon Forge. The mill was built in 1830 and is still in operation today. The mill was constructed in 1830 and was used to power electricity for the city until 1935. Today it is still used to grind grains that are sold in the Old Mill General Store and the Old Mill Farmhouse Kitchen.
- Pigeon Forge is home to one of only two Titanic museums in the United States. Guests at the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge are invited to explore the twenty dramatically lit galleries, touch a growing iceberg, experience 28-degree water, sit in an actual size lifeboat, see the only actual TITANIC photos that exist on display and much more.
- Pigeon Forge is home to several award-winning shows and theatres that deliver world-class entertainment year-round such as Country Tonite Theatre, The Comedy Barn Theater and Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud. And for those that prefer a hearty meal alongside their entertainment, you’ll find that too at Pigeon Forge dinner shows such as Dolly Parton’s Stampede, Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud and Pirates Voyage Dinner and Show.
- You can capture a true feel for “mountain living” by staying in one of the many area cabins or chalets in Pigeon Forge. Or if you prefer to be a little closer to the action on the Parkway, Pigeon Forge has more than 8,500 hotel and motel rooms from which to choose from. So, you can count on finding the perfect place to stay!
- Pigeon Forge is also home to one of five Margaritaville hotels in the United States. Inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and author Jimmy Buffett, Margaritaville Island Hotel is the perfect setting to escape the everyday, discover a new outlook, and just chill. In addition, Pigeon Forge is also home to Margaritaville Island Inn.
- You’ll find a total of 8 pancakes houses located throughout Pigeon Forge. After all, who doesn’t love some good pancakes for breakfast? Check out this list of some of our favorite places to eat pancakes in Pigeon Forge.
- The trolley in Pigeon Forge will take you through the city for $1 per ride or $3 for an all day pass! So, park your car and then sit back and relax and let the trolley do the driving for you. You can also ride to Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country in style aboard a trolley, fares are $2.50.