Want to beat the traffic and get your heart rate up while checking out the best that Pigeon Forge has to offer? Paved sidewalks, walking trails, and a hop-on-and-off trolley make the 5-mile stretch of Pigeon Forge Parkway very pedestrian friendly. You can leave your car at RiverStone and take a short 15-30 minute walk to a wide variety of eateries, shops, shows, and other attractions. Close by is Dixie Stampede, SpeedZone Fun Park, Pigeon Forge Trader’s Gift Shop, Log Cabin Pancake House, Boot Factory Outlet, Country Mill Crafts, Captain Jim’s Seafood Buffet, Cielito Lindo Mexican Grill, China 1 Restaurant, and the Lil’ Black Bear Café. A Food City grocery store is also a stone’s throw away for must-have drinks, snacks, and grocery items.
If you enjoy the journey as much as the destination, bypass the Parkway sidewalks and stroll along the stream just one street back from the main highway (use caution because there aren’t designated sidewalks everywhere). Across from RiverStone’s entrance, take S. River Road along a stream of the West Prong Little Pigeon River, where you’ll see ducks, turtles, fish, and wildflowers, and enjoy a cool breeze under the shade trees along the bank.
This road will take you toward the historic Old Mill Square—featuring the Old Mill Restaurant and Farmhouse Kitchen, General Store, Creamery, Candy Kitchen, and more—as well as Patriot Park and Walking Trail. Named for its memorials to Armed Forces veterans, Patriot Park is an open-use space, which hosts music festivals and concerts, fireworks displays, Winterfest lights, and other special events year round. It’s a great place for a picnic, throwing frisbee, or simply breathing in a little nature while wandering along the ½-mile long walking trail.
Getting tired? Hop on the Fun-Time Trolley at Patriot Park. For only $.50 a ride, or $2.50 for an all-day wristband, the trolley runs up and down the Parkway every 20 minutes or so. With the help of the trolley, you can visit some attractions a little farther away than comfortable walking distance and can also easily get back to your room to drop off lunch leftovers and shopping bags or to grab a jacket.
A little farther from RiverStone—about 2 miles, but worth it—is The Island, the area’s newest shopping, dining, and entertainment complex. On foot or by trolley, head north on the Parkway, looking for the 200-foot-high observation wheel, and you’ll find this walkable shopping and entertainment development with more than 60 retail and specialty shops, popular restaurants, rides, games, live music, and more. A few must-sees are Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen (new in 2015), the 6,000-square-foot “Ole Smoky Barn,” featuring moonshine tastings and daily live bluegrass, and the Island Show Fountain, which provides a dancing water display with music and lights.
Whether you’re saving on gas, trying to stay fit, or just drinking in the sunshine of a beautiful mountain afternoon, everything you want to see and do in Pigeon Forge is only steps away, so bring your tennis shoes and an adventurous spirit!