The best way to see The Great Smoky Mountain is to take The Great Smoky Mountain Railway. This takes you through river gorges, fertile valleys, and tunnels cut out of mountains. A choice of trips include: The Tuckasegee river trip, a 3 hour journey which passes the wreck site of the movie The Fugitive and travels through Cowee Tunnel, hand dug by convicts and the Nantahala Gorge trip which crosses Fontana Lake to the Nantahala Gorge white-water rafting area.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park i features camping, RV hookups, and cabins for lodging. Visitors can hike on the numerous footpaths, including parts of the 2000-mile long Appalachian Trail.
The most visited part of the park is Cades Cove, which is a valley that is fully surrounded by mountains. Within the cove, visitors can marvel at the natural foliage and wildlife, go hiking, or ride the trails on a mountain bike.
The Appalachian Trail is a footpath that stretches over 2000 miles from northern Georgia all the way to central Maine. This attractive trail winds through a number of the most stunning parts of the mountains.
The historic and beautiful cabins in nearby Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge provide excellent lodging options for people who want to get a feel for the area. Here are eight ways to enjoy Pigeon Forge, Tenn., gateway to America’s most visited national park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
1. Ride a trolley or walk in town.
Pigeon Forge Fun Time Trolleys cost only 50 cents; walking is free. Take the trolley to Dollywood to bypass the theme park’s parking fee. The many attractions along the city’s main street, the Parkway, make walking fun.
2. Get a Value Card.
Discounts on lodging, entertainment, restaurants, shopping and attractions (even indoor skydiving) are on the Pigeon Forge Value Card (free at the Welcome Center). Shopaholics can get a real buzz by using the Value Card for discounts at Belz Factory Outlet World, one of six malls in town.
3. Find new discounts on the Web.
Check the city’s Web site, www.MyPigeonForge.com, for new discounts and coupons.
4. Get a free day at Dollywood.
Tennessee’s most visited attraction has a deal with its “Arrive After 3, Get the Next Day Free” program. For a sense of extra value, visit on Wednesdays and Thursdays, generally the lowest-attendance days.
5. Buy a Dollywood season pass.
If you’re returning to Pigeon Forge later in the year, a Dollywood season pass pays for itself on the second visit. Many visitors come in the summer, again in the fall and then at Christmas. If Dollywood is on their agenda, a season pass is a true bargain.
6. Get a theater combo.
Pigeon Forge has more than a dozen musical theaters and more than 20 different shows. Look for discounted combo tickets if you want to see more than one show.
7. Buy a vacation package.
Packages that combine lodging, shows and attractions into one purchase save you money. Numerous packages are on www.My PigeonForge.com.
8. Enjoy the outdoors.
Pigeon Forge is located at the foothills of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its hiking trails, picnic grounds and magnificent scenery. Admission to the park is free.
Joan McCray is a travel writer living in NYC. Her work has appeared in the NewYorker,Travel & Leisure, Town & Country, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Wine,and many local publications.She has published travel anthologies in Salon.com and Lonely Planet.
https://www.familiesonlinemagazine.com/smokey-mountains/https://imgsub.familiesonlinemagazine.com/uploads/2015/03/hiking-smokey-mountains.jpghttps://imgsub.familiesonlinemagazine.com/uploads/2015/03/hiking-smokey-mountains-150x150.jpgJoan McCrayAre we there Yet?Family TravelThe best way to see The Great Smoky Mountain is to take The Great Smoky Mountain Railway. This takes you through river gorges, fertile valleys, and tunnels cut out of mountains. A choice of trips include: The Tuckasegee river trip, a 3 hour journey which passes the wreck...Joan McCrayJoanMcCray[email protected]ContributorJoan McCray is a travel writer living in NYC. Her work has appeared in the NewYorker, Travel & Leisure, Town & Country, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Wine, and many local publications. She has published travel anthologies in Salon.com and Lonely Planet.