5 Tips for Avoiding Pigeon Forge Traffic

Directional sign pointing this way, that way and another way

If any of you have been to Pigeon Forge, you’ve probably noticed the Pigeon Forge traffic when you come in and when you go out. Although the Pigeon Forge traffic really isn’t that bad, we have a few great ways to help you avoid the Pigeon Forge traffic as easily as possible. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Try to be in town before 3 p.m. on Friday. The 3 o’clock hour is really busy because many people are checking in to hotels and lodging at this hour. If possible, come earlier rather than later. If you need to wait and come later, then try waiting until later in the evening, even after dinnertime.

2. If you’re leaving Pigeon Forge on Sunday, try to leave before 10 a.m. or after 1 p.m. A great way to manage this is to take your time when you leave, sit down for lunch and take one last look at the Smokies before you head out. The Pigeon Forge traffic tends to clear up around 1-2 p.m. on Sundays.

3. Ride the trolley or walk. If you want to avoid driving in Pigeon Forge traffic while you’re in town, just hop on one of the trolleys or walk. There’s many places, like Patriot Park, where you can park your car for the day to catch a ride on a trolley or even walk. From Patriot Park, you’re really close to the main Parkway, so you won’t have to worry about walking too far.

4. Plan activities that are close together. There are places with shopping, entertainment and restaurants within walking distance on the Pigeon Forge Parkway. When you plan where you’re visiting, you will avoid driving up and down the Parkway to reach any of the attractions or activities. You can plan your trip so you only have to head in one direction to complete everything in a single trip.

5. Like many popular vacation destinations, there’s bound to be a little bit of traffic in the peak seasons. If you visit during the off season, you will be able to avoid Pigeon Forge traffic even more.

When you’re planning your vacation to Pigeon Forge, don’t worry about the Pigeon Forge traffic. You’re going to have a lot of fun during your stay, and traffic isn’t so bad that it’s going to ruin your trip in any way! We promise! For a couple more helpful tips for getting around Pigeon Forge, take a look at our alternate route to Dollywood and the shortcut to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Pigeon Forge.

14 thoughts on “5 Tips for Avoiding Pigeon Forge Traffic”

  1. thanks goodness you didn’t tell about the backroads. altho i beleve that AAA has already told in years past. they need to be strung up for that. we that live here need to get around more than the tourist. i am glad they are here but they need to stay on the main roads and sit n the traffic

    donna kenchel

  2. There is a little something called a GPS that many of us will not travel without. I refuse to sit in traffic with the other lemmings, so look for me on your precious backroads.

  3. Im NOT from there, but thru out the years have learned the back roads on my own!! I NEVER use the main strip now

  4. ride a bike! this town is prime for cycling. day after day i make better time than you angry drivers sufficating on carbon monoxide. seriously it is a very practical way to get around especially the main drag in town, but if you do just fyi it is illigal to cycle on the sidewalk. be safe have fun and sit in traffic no more.

  5. The locals leaving comments on this site are a joke. You really portray the gratitude of Pigeon Forge. I visit the area nearly every year and dump hundreds of dollars into your local community and economy and your so selfish you cannot even share you backroads. “Let them sit in traffic” says Donna Kenchel… Hey! it’s our tourist dollars that that most likely paved the roads. To: City Biker…what your saying makes no sense at all. First you say “the town is prime for cycling” (disagree) and then you say it’s illegal to cycle on the sidewalk..hmmm..have you ever even cycled on the strip? Besides, it’s the cyclists who are choking on the carbond monoxide..not the driver sitting in the car. I think the whole area is a tourist trap myself and besides the mountains themselves there is nothing worth visiting for, especially not for the hospitality. (your Georgia resident)

  6. I will not be coming back to this traffic ever. Got alot more places I could be than pigeon forge or Gatlinburg.

  7. Whoa! Hold on there “Georgia Neighbor” it is not just Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg that “hides” their backroad information. Although I now live in Georgia I have previously lived in Orlando (two minutes drive from Universal Studios). Not only would letting everyone “in” on the backroads create a worse traffic nightmare, but it would to more accidents and “lost” tourists. Sure “Prospective Tourist” you might have GPS but GPS does not work everywhere. The Walt Disney World resort just happens to be one such place. There are a plethora of roads at “Disney” that are not open to the public, and other roads that, while open to the public, do not go where the GPS claims they do. Therefore, all a GPS system, and a desire to “avoid traffic”, would do is get you lost. Believe me I worked Public Safety in that area. Signs to attractions, roads, etc. are more prevalent on “main” roads since these are the easiest, even if not always quickest, way to get there. So, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are not alone in having their “secret backroads”, so cut them some slack guys.

  8. After many years of being a tourist to this beautiful area, my husband and I moved here permanently. We paid our tourist dues by sitting in traffic with two tired children, and by trying different roads on our own. After we moved here, we were given back-road routes by locals with pleas not to share them. Please understand that we need to get to the grocery store, places of employment (many of our jobs are in areas serving tourists), doctors’ appointments, school functions, day-care, the bank, boy and girl scouts, church, meetings, etc. each and every day. Also, some of the back-roads can be quite dangerous – narrow lanes, one lane bridges, hills you can’t see over until you start down the other side, dead-ends, etc. Your GPS may not work in the woods. Recently, we were on a nice back-road when a SUV with 2 adults and 3 children passed us on a double-line going over a hill exceeding the 35 MPH limit by about 20 miles per hour. The vehicle had Florida license plates.

    Highway 66 from I40 to Sevierville has been widened and this has helped. There is still a short area that is still under construction, so please bear with us.

    We do depend on tourist dollars and I feel that they are put to good use. Many of the roads we all travel, city parks (open to tourists also), improved areas, downtown beautification, etc. are helped with this money. The fire department does a wonderful job with fires often started unintentionally by tourists, as does the local police department and EMTs with emergencies which often involve tourists.
    You help add many seasonal jobs and help with our economy, so we do appreciate you. In return we provide lots of entertainment, places to eat, mountains to climb, rivers to enjoy, picnic areas with a beautiful environment, cabins and motels, and many other great things to do.

    I am sorry for your inconveniences and hope you will respect our needs also. I am sorry if you have experienced rudeness on our roads (did you note the many out-of-town plates), rudeness from
    any locals, or rudeness in places to eat, etc. We have found that when we respect the rights of others, show consideration to other people, and respect the environment, we have been shown kindness, consideration, and respect ourselves. We have learned to live with the fact that we may not be able to get a space in a restaurant until after tourist season, but that is to be expected here – so we eat at home. We have learned to drive exceedingly carefully through the city of Gatlinburg, because many tourists feel is is OK to ignore the cross-walks and cross wherever they want to. This can be dangerous both for the walker and the driver.

    If you come to my beautiful area of the country, please be patient and respectful and I will do the same when I come to your area.

    Enjoy you stay!

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