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Traffic situation getting around area/ July trip planned

Cooper, Texas
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Traffic situation getting around area/ July trip planned

My family has a trip planned in late July for 5 nights . Alredy booked a cabin in the Sherwood forest community. My question is what is the traffic situation like to get to from pigien forge to smoky mountain park, dolly wood , back to cabin going to be like? Is it similar to Branson ,MO congestion and just a main strip to get anywhere? Also what are the highlights to see and do for teenage kids? We are thinking about Dollywood, maybe Dixie stampede and a day in the nat'l park too? Wondering if there is alternate routes to get around?

8 replies to this topic
Melbourne, Florida
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for Melbourne, Florida
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1. Re: Traffic situation getting around area/ July trip planned

All 3 towns Pigeon Forge, Sevierville & Gatlinburg have a main road that goes thru the middle of the town with shops, restaurants, hotels, etc on both sides. Sevierville has the outlet mall, PF has more arcades, go cart tracks and shows, Gatlinburg is more walkable.

There are back roads in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg has a by-pass road that goes around the town and takes you to the entrance of the Smoky Mountains park. You can also access the park thru Hwy 321 (Wears Valley Road) which comes out in Townsend, you would not be far from Cades Cove there.

You should take a look at the Gatlinburg and Smoky Mountains national park forums for more info on the area. Also here is the map for PF https:/…parkway and there is also one for Gatlinburg. Most things are located by traffic light numbers. Such as Roaring Fork Motor trail which is a great driving tour in the mountains, the entrance is at traffic light #8 in Gatlinburg.

You can also go to the chamber of commerce websites for all 3 towns and request a visitors package. They will send you booklets with coupons and maps.

Tennessee
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2. Re: Traffic situation getting around area/ July trip planned

You are correct with the Branson Strip comparison.

From Sherwood Forest, you are not that far from Dollywood, on the other side of The Strip. You’ll just use Mill Creek to briefly access the Strip before you come to Dollywood Lane. Dolly’s Stampede is close, too (use Connor Heights to access the Strip). For the National Park, continue on the Strip which will become The Spur (441) to Gatlinburg and use the Gatlinburg Bypass for the National Park. You will have some beautiful viewpoints to pullover at—and bypass the downtown traffic—coming out near Sugarlands Visitor Center.

In Pigeon Forge, using Teaster and Veterans can save time. From where you are, using Mill Creek to get to Wears Valley and Cades Cove as an alternate route is a lovely drive.

Have Fun!

Tennessee
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3. Re: Traffic situation getting around area/ July trip planned

PS: In Pigeon Forge, there are MANY traffic lights. Most of these are designed give you an opportunity to turn in the opposite direction to join the strip. If you miss a light, no worries, you can turn around up ahead. Check out videos of PF on YouTube, etc,. for a lay of the land.

Edited: 10 June 2018, 19:29
Cooper, Texas
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4. Re: Traffic situation getting around area/ July trip planned

Thank you

Ruby, South Carolina
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5. Re: Traffic situation getting around area/ July trip planned

You occasionally run into traffic in Gatlinburg. There is just not much room in that valley to build roads. The road between Gatlinburg and PF can also get backed up at times. These happen mainly on weekends. But overall the traffic is about like most tourist areas.

Cinn, OH
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6. Re: Traffic situation getting around area/ July trip planned

We have visited Branson before and we think it is easier to drive around PF and GAT than Branson. Silver Dollar City is very similar to Dollywood, they used to be affiliated with each other and you received a discount if you have a gold pass from Dollywood and vice versa. I don't know if that is still the case. You will like the food in the Smokies more than the food in the Branson area. It seemed to us so many places were buffet places, and there are some of those in PF/GAT but most are not. The food is more seasoned and tastier too or at least that is our opinion. Enjoy your trip

charlotte, United...
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7. Re: Traffic situation getting around area/ July trip planned

We just spent a night in Gatlinburg on way back from Nashville to NC. The traffic on the Parkway was literally gridlock, crawling. It was the worst traffice imaginable and we live in a major city noted for its traffic problems. My advice is to learn alternate routes to get around. We stopped and asked a local if we could bypass the Parkway. She had us go to Veterans Blvd. It is the road Dollywood is on. Once we got past Dollywood, we were funneled back into the traffic jam but we bypassed miles of traffic.

We had been to Gatlinburg before but we will not return. The traffic is ridiculous and there are plenty of mountain towns that do not have this traffic. My daughter comes to Pigeon Force in February each year for cheerleading competition and tells me the traffic is really bad then.

Tennessee
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8. Re: Traffic situation getting around area/ July trip planned

Sorry to hear about your traffic issues, John P! I do hope you’ll give the area another try. I have visited many times when traffic isn’t so bad, but acknowledge that there can be annoying traffic jams, especially on weekends.

There are a few ways to at least lessen the traffic coming from Gatlinburg.

To reach Sevierville, you can take Hwy 321 to Buckhorn/Pittman Center Rd/Birds Creek Rd which leads to Dolly Parton Parkway and then to Winfield Dunn. (Cutting through at Upper Middle Creek or Jayell can also take you in, depending on where you’re going.)

If you don’t mind curvy roads, taking Hwy 321 to Glades to Powdermill/Boogertown to Upper Middle Creek then to Veterans (+ Teaster) can save time getting from Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge.

Edited: 19 June 2018, 23:43
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