United States

Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, TN

See Also Our Running Guide to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway

Creative Commons: NealVickers

Pigeon Forge is a resort area in southern Tennessee. Together with nearby Gatlinburg, the area is known as a center of Southern culture, country music, Dollywood, amusement parks & attractions, and is the northern gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Despite the area’s popularity, we have to say it’s not great for running! The Parkway and other main roads are busy with traffic and lack a shoulder or sidewalk. But we have come up with a few decent options for running in Pigeon Forge and the nearby towns of Gatlinburg and Sevierville.

The best place to run in Pigeon Forge is the 4-mile Riverwalk Greenway, a paved multi-use trail that’s centrally located. A few miles north in Sevierville, there’s also a short multi-use trail. In Gatlinburg, the easy, wooded Gatlinburg Trail is near the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is a nice intro to the Park. There are also a couple of good options in the part of the Park near this area: Greenbrier Cove has a nice, quiet road along the Little Pigeon River. And for a worth-it destination run, head to the Cades Cove Loop — a popular, 11-mile driving loop that’s closed to cars on Wednesdays May 4-Sept. 28.

Note:s  One treat for running in Piegon Forge is the Pigeon Forge Winterfest, a celebration and great light display that runs from November-February. Note also the weather is hot and humid in summer. And there’s ample precipitation year-round. The area is especially pretty for running in spring and autumn.

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