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 August 28, 2023
The new Buc-ee's location just off Interstate 40 at Exit 407 is the most recent and visibly tangible piece of evidence that a new multipurpose development is well on its way to fruition. The 407: Gateway To Adventure is a 200-acre shopping-dining-lodging-entertainment project that's gradually taking shape at the interchange, which is where a vast number of visitors exit the Interstate and begin the final leg of their journey toward Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Buc-ee's opening earlier this summer marked the first milestone of phase one of the project. The 74,000-square-foot convenience store became the second location in the state and, at least for the time being, is the largest Buc-ee's in the country (an even larger store in the chain's home state of Texas will take the top honors within the next year). The Sevierville Buc-ee's boasts 120 gas pumps, a 250-foot-long car wash and some of the cleanest restrooms you'll find anywhere, including your own house, possibly.
But Buc-ee's is just getting things started at The 407: Gateway To Adventure. Developers broke ground in April on Smoky Gap, a new entertainment district operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The development will embody an early-1900s Americana theme complete with storefronts and a giant clock tower reminiscent of many a small-town square.
The 20-acre district, expected to be completed in 2025, will cost in the neighborhood of $250 million. For that price tag, developers will be welcoming family-friendly entertainment, new restaurants and specialty shops. The “living streetscape” will feature lighting and projections, a 30-minute walk-through option and planned events to help create an immersive, one-of-a-kind experience. The various tenants will be charged with creating their own unique programming options and immersive aspects.
Another component of The 407 development is a history-themed attraction produced by a partnership between the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and European theme park company Puy du Fou. The attraction is rumored to be inspired by stories of heroism by Cherokee natives during World War I. The park will be the first U.S. attraction for the Puy Du Fou company, and it is slated to open in 2024.
“Puy du Fou is known around the world for transporting guests back in time to feel first-hand the excitement and drama of historical moments,” said Richard Sneed, principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. “This unique attraction promises to be a one-of-a-kind experience that will make The 407 truly the 'Gateway to Adventure.'”
In addition to Buc-ee's and Smoky Gap, phase one of The 407 project will include a Marriott Courtyard hotel property that will make its debut in 2025. Phase two will feature more overnight destinations, a world-class resort, a golf attraction, go-carts and a themed sports experience. There's even been talk of building another exit, 408, on Interstate 40 to help alleviate traffic congestion and make access easier for visitors.
One thing that we don't think you'll be able to do at The 407 is ride ziplines. To do that, you'll need to travel a little farther into the Smokies, to Pigeon Forge. Our outpost lets you spend hours on a seven-line canopy tour, and in addition to all the fun you'll have riding our zipline, Smoky Mountains views and much more fun await.