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 20, 2022
If there's one thing most people like, it's saving time, especially when it comes to minimizing time spent behind the wheel while on vacation; that frees up time to do the fun stuff that you went on your trip for in the first place.
To that end, we started sharing, in our last blog post, some insider tips about some time-saving routes for traveling to and around the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. In that previous installment, we focused more on alternate routes for getting TO the Smokies, ones that can often help travelers avoid waiting in gridlock traffic for hours on end.
This week, we're going to share some of the locals' favorite secrets when it comes to maneuvering from town to town WITHIN Sevier County. So if you're staying in Gatlinburg, for example, some of these tips might just help you get to our Sevierville zipline attraction a little faster, thus giving you more time on the front and back end of your trip to Smoky Mountain Ziplines to do some shopping or grab a bite at an area eatery.
The most common route from Sevierville to Pigeon Forge is a tried-and-true one - the Parkway - the main artery that runs from Sevierville all the way to the south end of Gatlinburg at the border of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. And even though this route is often three lanes in each direction, it can be very slow going, especially during peak seasons and during special events like custom-auto shows.
The best alternate route is to take Dolly Parton Parkway east from downtown Sevierville until you get to Veterans Blvd. That route is six-lane also, and it takes you directly to the main entrance to Dollywood. So if you're planning to visit that theme park, this is definitely the way to go. But even if you continue past Dollywood on Veterans Blvd, you'll be in the heart of Pigeon Forge in no time at all.
You have a couple of options here. You could follow the route we just described to Pigeon Forge, which will leave you a relatively short section of the Parkway to travel south on before getting to the The Spur, a small section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park that connects Pigeon Forge to Gatlinburg. But sometimes traffic on The Spur can get pretty clogged too.
The other choice, beginning in Sevierville, is to take Dolly Parton Parkway (aka U.S. Hwy. 411) to Tenn. Hwy. 416 (aka Pittman Center Rd.). Follow that road south until you get to a community called Caton's Chapel, at which point the road changes name to Birds Creek Rd. and, a little farther beyond, Buckhorn Rd. That road will take you directly to the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community in Gatlinburg, so if that's your destination, this is your best choice for sure. Even if you're wanting to venture into downtown Gatlinburg, Buckhorn Rd. intersects with U.S. Hwy. 321, and then it's a straight shot into Gatlinburg.
Again, you could take the Parkway south through downtown Gatlinburg until you get to the main entrance to the national park. But during busy times, this route can be a bear (pun intended). Instead, consider taking the Gatlinburg Bypass, which runs from the south end of The Spur (which is also on the north end of Gatlinburg) all the way around the main part of town until you arrive at the national park entrance. Along the way, you'll be rewarded with beautiful views of the Smokies and an overhead perspective on downtown Gatlinburg.
The main entrance at the south end of Gatlinburg isn't the only way into the national park. Other access points include the Cosby entrance (via U.S. Hwy. 321 on the extreme eastern end of Gatlinburg), the Townsend entrance (via Lamar Alexander Parkway in Townsend) and the Wears Valley entrance (via Line Springs Rd. in Wears Valley). These alternate entrances are almost always less trafficked and, in some cases, you'll encounter almost zero traffic. These come in particularly handy when you're trying to reach a destination like the Cosby campground, Cades Cove or Metcalf Bottoms picnic area.