Blog for Zip line Attraction in the Smoky Mountains
Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.
By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on December 13, 2022
There are a lot of great reasons to visit the Great Smoky Mountains. But if there's one universal down side to the whole experience, it's the traffic. Even in the traditional off season, it can be slow going on the main arteries, especially the Parkway running through Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
However, there are ways to minimize the bumper-to-bumper crawling if you know which routes to take - or which ones NOT to take at certain times. That's why we're going to make your day and share a few secrets when it comes to the routes that folks around here take to get around on the busiest of days. This may ruffle a few feathers among locals who would just as soon keep that information on the down-low. But we want our Smoky Mountain visitors to have the best time possible, which means spending less of it on the road and more of it doing fun stuff.
The most popular route to the area is to get off Interstate 40 at Exit 407 and travel south toward Sevierville on Tenn. Hwy. 66 (Governor Winfield Dunn Pkwy.). Since this corridor was widened to three lanes in both directions several years ago, the going has gotten easier. But things can still get clogged up as one approaches downtown Sevierville. One alternate route is to get off Tenn. 66 at Boyds Creek Hwy. and then head south on Old Knoxville Hwy. It's a two-lane road, but on the worst of days, it can be easier traveling. That route will take you to Chapman Hwy., and from there, head east toward downtown Sevierville.
If you're headed toward the Smokies from the Knoxville area, consider taking Henley St. southeast from downtown Knoxville toward the Smokies. That street turns into Chapman Hwy. and will eventually lead you to downtown Sevierville. Or if you want to bypass Sevierville altogether and head straight toward Pigeon Forge, there are several county roads that will lead you from Chapman Hwy. in that direction. One of those possible back roads is Mill Creek Rd., which passes by our Pigeon Forge zip line tours. There are multiple options, so once you're on Chapman Hwy. see what your navigation app suggests for direct travel to Pigeon Forge. The back roads are two lanes only and can be very curvy and hilly. But when it's a parking lot on the Parkway from Sevierville to Pigeon Forge, the alternate pathways can be a big time saver.
The above-mentioned route from downtown Knoxville applies here as well. But if you're coming from Chattanooga on Interstate 75, consider getting off that road and routing yourself through Lenoir City, then Maryville, then Townsend, TN. From there, U.S. Hwy. 321 will take you the back way to Pigeon Forge, through Wears Valley. Or you can continue straight on Lamar Alexander Pkwy. at the Townsend traffic light and head directly into Great Smoky Mountains National Park. That entrance leads to multiple popular park destinations, including Cades Cove, Elkmont, Tremont and Sugarlands Visitor Center.
The main way to get to the Smokies from the south is via U.S. Hwy. 441 from Cherokee, NC. There aren't many alternatives there; it is what it is. But if you're coming from North Carolina via Interstate 40, you could get off at the Wilton Springs exit and take U.S. Hwy. 321 all the way into Gatlinburg. Or for a scenic diversion, take the Foothills Parkway exit and take that road to U.S. 321, which will then lead you to Gatlinburg.