Although largely seen as a popular tourist destination, Pigeon Forge is a lovely mountain town with a rich history. And even if you visit often, you likely don’t know absolutely everything about this region. Ready to find out new fun facts to tell all your friends? Here’s a look at 15 things you probably didn’t know about this incredible city in Tennessee.
1. The Name Really Does Say It All
When Pigeon Forge first came to be, the Little Pigeon River stood at the heart of it all as did the now-historic Old Mill, which operated as an iron forge back then. By combining the names of these two entities, the original residents created the city’s famous moniker.
2. Historic Old Mill Remains in Operation
Although the iron forge opened its doors in 1817, it still stands today. Even more surprising, the Historic Old Mill remains in operation, creating the wheat flour and other products needed at The Old Mill Restaurant. Want to experience the magic of this historic mill for yourself? Come into the restaurant before 11 am and order the delightful pancake breakfast.
3. Pancakes are Always on Tap
The Old Mill Restaurant is definitely not the only place in town to get a huge stack of delicious pancakes. In fact, this town has at least eight distinct pancake houses across its expanse, including:
- Smoky Mountain Pancake House
- Sawyer’s Farmhouse Breakfast
- Smoky’s Pancake Cabin
- Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin
- Red Rooster Pancake House
If you want to pick the best of the bunch, you’re simply going to have to try each one for yourself.
4. Goats are Ready for Their Meal
Once you’ve enjoyed your fair share of good eats, there’s perhaps nothing better to do than share the love at Goats on the Rooftop. Unique to Pigeon Forge, this awesome attraction gives you a chance to ride a “goat-cycle” around the track while feeding the group. Remember, it’s goat chow only, however, since they’re not allowed free rein on the pancakes.
5. Dollywood Demands the Most Attention
Speaking of fun attractions, did you know that this city is home to the endlessly amazing Dollywood theme park? An amusement park and waterpark all in one, this awesome spot lets you experience the magic of the Smokies at every turn. You won’t be the only one either, as more than 2.5 million visitors come to the park each year.
6. And Features Fast and Unique Coasters Galore
While at Dollywood, you absolutely must take a ride on the Lightning Rod rollercoaster to whip down the track at a blazing 72 miles per hour. Then, try out the Wild Eagle to see what it’s like to fly up 21 stories high and zip across the sky in the nation’s very first wing coaster.
7. Adventures in the Smokies Await
When you arrive at Pigeon Forge, you can almost hear the Great Smoky Mountains calling your name. This impressive mountain range has more than 150 trails, ranging from an easy walk in the park to an incredibly strenuous jaunt. You can get prepared for each hike at all the awesome stores in the city center, and then land back in town for a good rest when you’re done.
8. More than 400 Species Live in the Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains might welcome more than 12.5 million visitors onto its trails each year, but it’s home to more than 400 different types of animals. While traveling along the trails, you always have a chance to spot a glimpse of species ranging from interesting Flamed Tigersnails to awe-inspiring black bears.
9. Bears are a Common Sight in Town
Even if you don’t step foot onto any Great Smoky Mountain trails, you may still come face to face with a rather rowdy black bear. These formidable creatures waltz into town at their leisure, crossing parking lots and giving everyone a sight to behold. Just remember to give them their distance and they’ll head back home soon enough.
10. A Helicopter Can Take You Over the Mountains
If you’d rather see the Smokies from a different perspective, you can take a look overhead by hopping on a helicopter ride. From their base in Pigeon Forge, the helicopter operators eagerly await a chance to give a tour of the beautiful mountains all around.
11. You Can Tour the City by Trolley
To easily move across Pigeon Forge on your way to check out all your favorite attractions, hop on the trolley and relax while it moseys down the rails. You can get a day pass for unlimited rides from morning until night and enjoy a full tour of the city without ever having to worry about finding parking.
12. Rental Cabins Let You Get Away from It All
If you want to see all Pigeon Forge has to offer, you’re going to have to settle down here for at least a three-day weekend. Thankfully, you can do just that by grabbing a rental cabin tucked away in the woods. From there, you can get to see what it’s like to settle down in a rustic mountain home.
13. Thousands Call This City Home
With its chill atmosphere, endless fun things to do, and awe-inspiring sights all around, it’s no wonder that over 6,200 people proudly call this city their home. By living in this area, they can grab a season pass to Dollywood and go on Smoky Mountain adventures anytime they want.
14. Millions More Visit Every Year
Not everyone can snag a wonderful place to live in Pigeon Forge, so they make it their top vacation destination instead. More than nine million people land here each year, intent on seeing all this quaint town has to offer.
15. Romance is Always in the Air
Of those nine million visitors, more than 20,000 head over to Pigeon Forge to tie the knot in style. They have many exceptional mountainside chapels to choose from or can just say, “I do,” in the park while surrounded by gorgeous mountains all around.
As the fun facts about Pigeon Forge dance through your mind, it’s time to start planning your next adventure here. Just jot down all the things you want to see and do, and then head out the door for the trip of a lifetime.