When winter rolls around, Pigeon Forge might not be as full as it is during peak season, which is summer. But if you prefer smaller crowds and a quieter way to enjoy your winter break, this mountain town is the place to be.
Pigeon Forge is a happening vacation area offering country music, theme parks, and a lot more to tourists throughout the year. The winter season brings the holiday spirit to this town, with a slower lifestyle.
What does Pigeon Forge have to offer during the winter?
If you’re in Pigeon Forge during the winter months, there are many activities to keep everyone interested. However, it is just as easy to curl up by the fire, relax, and enjoy being with your loved ones.
This area also has the Winterfest attraction, so you’ll have a lot to look forward to. The lights alone are an amazing sight. When put together, there are around 15 million lights in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville during a holiday winter night. The Rowdy Bear’s Smoky Mountain Snowpark is also a great place to enjoy snow tubing and other fun things to do in the snow in Pigeon Forge.
But with all the beauty and charm of the Smoky Mountains area in winter, there are a few things to keep in mind. The temperatures may not go far below 25 degrees from December to February, but you do need to prepare for unforeseen circumstances. Pigeon Forge gets up to six inches of snow each year. Still, the weather might change without warning at any point.
Wondering how to prepare for surviving winter in Pigeon Forge? Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Pack layers of clothing
Pigeon Forge locals and travel guides will tell you that the weather in Pigeon Forge can be unpredictable sometimes. Checking the forecast is a must before you plan any trip, so do the same before you set out for this destination. In case of unexpected cold weather, layers will be your best friend. Your luggage should include the following items:
- A warm winter coat
- A couple of T-shirts
- Rain jacket
- Long underwear
The amount of clothes you pack will depend on the intended length of your trip. Remember, the fabric of your clothing makes a major difference; Merino wool and synthetic microfiber are the best choices. Fleece and flannel pieces are the warmest, but wool and microfiber are both breathable and moisture-wicking.
2. Make indoor plans
While there are a lot of outdoor things to do in Pigeon Forge in winter, some days are just for staying indoors. If it rains, the terrain can be too dangerous to explore. It might even be too wet to visit the Parkway for shopping, so the best decision is to stay inside.
If the weather forecast shows some rainy days during your trip, see if your accommodation provides indoor activities. Some of these may include:
- Game tables, including air hockey, table tennis, air hockey
- Covered outdoor hot tubs
- Indoor jetted tubs or Jacuzzis
- Board games
- Balcony or porches with mountain views
- Arcade games
- Reliable, high-speed internet
Your vacation rental may only provide a limited amount of entertainment, so have some other indoor attractions in mind too. In that case, consider visiting indoor museums and attractions to avoid the cold weather outside.
3. Be careful about winter safety
Many tourists prefer driving to Pigeon Forge because of the scenic views along the way. This can be a bit tricky during winter, though. Before you head out for Pigeon Forge, check your car’s winter safety features. Some of these may include:
- A tire tread that is suitable for traveling long distances
- Normal fluid level
- An updated winter safety kit
- Working brakes
- Snow chains
- Adaptive headlights
Also, ensure you have your winter safety kit ready. Here are the items that should be in your winter safety kit:
- Ice scraper
- First-aid kit
- Jumper cables
- Flashlights for headlights
- Blankets (thermal or fleece)
- Non-perishable snacks
- Unbreakable water bottles
Your winter safety kit should ideally be in your car. If you get stranded because of bad weather or because the car breaks down, the kit will come in handy. Make sure that you keep updating your winter safety kit.
If nothing else, your car’s safety features will be useful if caught in wintertime traffic. With the right preparation, you can safely arrive at your destination and explore Pigeon Forge without worrying about car issues.
4. Consider alternative transportation options
It’s nice to have your own ride when you’re on vacation. You can travel as and when you feel like it; plus, you’re not dependent on anything for your fun excursions. Fortunately, a Pigeon Forge Trolley can help you stay off the road in peak traffic hours.
The timings for this trolley may or may not suit your schedule, but it’s still a very convenient option. It will take you to the Gatlinburg Welcome Center, Wears Valley, Dollywood, the Parkway, and many other places at very reasonable rates. You can also purchase a pass that will let you use the trolley for the whole day.
Apart from the trolley, Pigeon Forge has other public transportation options. Look them up before you go; they can help you avoid a lot of hassle and save on fuel money.
5. Take it slow
Whether you’re driving or walking, remember that Pigeon Forge is set in the Smoky Mountains. Many of the vacation rentals here are located on steep and winding roads. Even if there’s just a little rain, the resulting iciness can result in very slippery conditions. If you can’t avoid using the road at such times, drive very slowly and carefully.
Winter in Pigeon Forge might be challenging at times. However, you can always prepare and plan ahead. With the tips above, you won’t have time to get bored or feel you’ve wasted your trip. Keep an open mind, pack sensibly, and remember that there are many fun experiences in this area to enjoy during winter.