With so much focus put into the town’s tourism efforts each year, one has to wonder whether or not Pigeon Forge spends enough time addressing the needs of the town’s year-round residents. It’s with a hearty “Yes” that we can answer that question. One example is the town’s parks and recreations department and facilities that they oversee.
Patriot Park has long been Pigeon Forge’s main residential draw as a community gathering place and festival grounds for such events as the annual Patriot Festival every Fourth of July. With the completion of the new LeConte Center in 2013, Pigeon Forge is set to open a brand new park called Wear Farm City Park. More on the new Wear Farm City Park in a moment….
Located in Old Mill Square and adjacent to the Old Mill, Patriot Park is dedicated to all veterans from Sevier County that served in the military during wartime. The park features a walking track, which takes walkers and joggers along the Little Pigeon River. You’ll also see flags from all 50 states and from each branch of the military along the track. One of the nicest parts of the park is at its central point where a Patriot missile is mounted in a glass structure much like a greenhouse. Park-goers will recognize the Patriot missile – made famous during the first Gulf War, as well as a replica model of the Liberty Bell, which is also found at the park.
As previously mentioned, Patriot Park’s large open spaces are perfect for festivals and large gatherings. People can reserve a pavilion with 14 picnic tables and four electrical outlets by calling the Parks and Recreation Department at 865-429-7373. A large gazebo can also be reserved that overlooks the Little Pigeon River.
The yet-to-be-completed Wear Farm City Park, located at 647 Wears Valley Road, will be a 118 acre multi-use park and is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2013. Which means, Pigeon Forge is hopeful to start scheduling summer sporting events and well be available to large groups by then. As part of the park’s first 40 acre phase, five lighted baseball diamonds, a lighted football field, one multi-purpose field, two full playgrounds, three pavilions, a basketball court, walking trails, and concession stands are scheduled for construction.
Pigeon Forge also features an 86,000 square foot community center that includes basketball and racquetball courts as well as a 5,000 square foot fitness center and indoor jogging circuit. Guests can swim at the center’s indoor and outdoor pool, and bowl. Childcare is available for guests of the Pigeon Forge Community Center (170 Community Center Drive).