Looking for things to do in Pigeon Forge without breaking the bank? Choose from a number of budget friendly and free things to do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee so you can explore the area and save money along the way!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Free Things to Do in Pigeon Forge, TN

Explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park

No trip to Pigeon Forge would be complete without spending some time exploring Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of the most visited national parks in America. There are over 800 miles of hiking trails throughout the park, designed for all levels of adventurers. Whether you choose to hike, relax or simply see the sights, you can enjoy the park at your own pace. A visit to Great Smoky Mountains National Park definitely tops our list of free things to do in Pigeon Forge.

Family walking on the Riverwalk Trail in Pigeon Forge, TN

Take a leisurely stroll down the Riverwalk Trail

Wanting to enjoy a beautiful walk by the river? Take an afternoon and explore the Riverwalk Trail that runs parallel with the Little Pigeon River. Entrances to the trail can be found at Patriot Park, Butler Street at Ashley, and Jake Thomas Road. Everyone in the family will enjoy walking or biking the trail and listening to the soothing sounds of the river along the way. And the trail is pet friendly, so bring your furry friend along!

Family fishing on the Little Pigeon River

Enjoy some of the finest fishing in the country

The waters of East Tennessee offer some of the finest fishing in the country. Avid fishermen and the occasional angler will find outstanding fishing opportunities in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as well as the Little Pigeon River and at Douglas Lake, located just a few miles northeast of Pigeon Forge. Although there is no cost to go fishing, a valid Tennessee fishing license is required and can be purchased for a small fee.

Visit Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Free Things to Do in Pigeon Forge

Have a picnic lunch in Cades Cove

Take a scenic drive through Cades Cove. The 11-mile paved Cades Cove Loop Road is one the most visited areas within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains, look for wildlife and get a peek at the historic church and other buildings. Pack a lunch and stop for a picnic at the Cades Cove picnic grounds. The park is open year-round and it’s free.

Scenic Drives in the Smoky Mountains - Free Things to Do in PIgeon Forge

Take in the spectacular views on a scenic drive

Wanting to explore the great outdoors from the comfort of your own car? The entrance to the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is near the Rainbows Falls parking area, where visitors are immediately met with spectacular views. Make sure to bring your hiking shoes as there are plenty of places to get out and explore with the family. The best thing about this beautiful drive is that it’s FREE!

Browsing Old Mill Square - Free Things to Do in Pigeon Forge, TN

Explore Old Mill Square

Travel back in time with a visit to Old Mill Square. Walk through the square and take a peek in the unique shops and stores. See fudge being made at the Old Mill Candy Kitchen. Feed the ducks along the banks of the Little Pigeon River and watch the wheel turn on the side of the mill. Tour the Old Mill to see it working, to make some of the ingredients that are used in Old Mill recipes.

Meet the horses at Dolly Parton's Stampede - Free Things to Do in Pigeon Forge

Meet the horses from Dolly Parton’s Stampede

Excited about seeing Dolly Parton’s Stampede dinner show? Get there early and take a leisurely stroll along the open-air horse walk in Pigeon Forge. Get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures. Meet the performers and learn about each breed of horse. This is a great experience for everyone who is attending the show and its open to the public. Get your tickets to Dolly’s Stampede today.

Free Things to Do at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge, TN

Spend an afternoon at Patriot Park

Spend an afternoon with the family at Patriot Park, located next to the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge. A walk around the park takes you along the Little Pigeon River, where you”ll see a big “liberty” bell, flags from the 50 states, a historic patriot missile and a picnic pavilion. During Winterfest and the holiday season, Patriot Park lights up the night with magnificent holiday light displays.

Incredible Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge, TN

Celebrate Christmas every day of the year

Celebrate the spirit of Christmas any day of the year with a visit to the Incredible Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge. See their large display of Christmas trees brilliantly decorated with lights and ornaments. There’s no cost to browse through the store.


Explore more fun trip ideas to help you plan your next visit to Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains.

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