FREE Things to Do for Fall 2021 in the Smoky Mountains


After saving up cash to take a nice vacation this fall, the last thing you want to do is to overspend on attractions. Autumn is such a beautiful season to visit the Smokies, and we at Pigeon Forge TN Cabins know how important it is to fully enjoy your vacation without breaking the bank. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of FREE things to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg in October and November — from exploring the national park to attending fall festivals! Plus, we offer more information on our budget-friendly cabins so you can get the most out of your Smoky Mountain stay for less. 

FREE Autumn Activities in the National Park
One of the best parts about vacationing in the Smokies is visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As the most visited national park in the country, it’s no surprise there’s no entrance fee. With 800+ miles of hiking and cycling trails, scenic drives, serene picnic spots, and the colorful beauty of fall, you could explore this free national park every day on your autumn vacation and never get bored! Whatever you decide, the national park has tons of great free things to do in fall.

  • Hike through colorful leaves to dazzling waterfalls.
  • Mountain bike along beautiful forest trails.
  • Drive along the scenic Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.
  • Picnic with friends and family by the Little Pigeon River. 
  • Fly-fish the national park waters for trout. 
  • Go birdwatching for wild turkey in Cades Cove. 

FREE Fall Experiences
If you enjoy taking strolls, perusing shops, and viewing nature, you’ll love these neat — and free — things to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg in October and November!

  • Drive the 8-mile loop around the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community (the largest group of independent artisans in the nation) in Gatlinburg and stop in stores that pique your interest. Who knows? You might see a pro crafter at work!
  • Venture through The Incredible Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge that features gorgeous Christmas decorations from across the globe. With something fantastical at every glance, it will really get you in the spirit for the holiday season!
  • Stroll around The Village Shops — a European-themed shopping village straight out of a storybook — in Gatlinburg. Window shopping at its best, The Village gives you something to look forward to with every step. There’s a lovely fountain, too.
  • Walk The Island, a shopping and entertainment complex in Pigeon Forge. Boasting tons of rides, games, boutiques, and eateries, there’s plenty of space to go at a leisurely pace and take in all the sights, sounds, and smells. It’s also dog friendly.
  • Find secret spots by the Little Pigeon River. Along the route between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are many pull-offs so you can check out the rushing water and colorful fall leaves up close. A short way behind The Incredible Christmas Place is an area along the river that is laid with steps to the water, so you can hang out by the river and soak in the fall scenery for a bit.

FREE October & November Events
Who doesn’t love a FREE event, especially when held in arguably the most beautiful months of the year in the Smokies? Throughout October and November, there are 7 fall events — without an entrance fee — in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg we think you’ll enjoy this year. Naturally, social distancing and mask requirements are in place for safety precautions. 

  • OkTOBERfest at Ober Gatlinburg | September 24 – October 31
    • Bringing fun traditions of Germany to the Great Smoky Mountains, OktOBERfest is an annual fall event at Ober Gatlinburg. Feast your eyes on folk dancing, listen to oompah music, and browse the Bier Garten!
  • Smoky Mountain Harvest Fest in Sevierville | September 16 – November 21 
    • Spend quality time with loved ones while checking out Sevierville during the harvest festival. Businesses set up seasonal displays with pumpkins and offer autumn food samples. Plus, there are self-guided driving tours to explore the area!
  • Rotary Club Crafts Festival at Patriot Park | October 1-31
    • Check out an array of handmade goods, decorations, gifts, and souvenirs from local Appalachian crafters on your Pigeon Forge vacation this fall — without paying a dime. Parking is also free!
  • Halloween Spooktacular at Pigeon Forge Community Center | October 28
    • Family friendly, the Halloween Spooktacular at the Pigeon Forge Community Center is a fun and free option to go trick or treating, walk through a haunted house, and enjoy live entertainment. 
  • Trick Or Treat at The Island | October 31
    • Take your kids trick or treating for free in a safe environment on Halloween night between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Wear a costume, and you might get a bonus discount off a 48-hour unlimited ride pass! 
  • Trick Or Treat Kick Off Karnival at Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza | October 31
    • Tons of candy, costumed characters, contests, games, and special treats await at Ripley’s annual Halloween Karnival. It’s a scary good event for the whole family to enjoy. 
  • Holiday Crafts Show at Gatlinburg Convention Center | November 29 – December 4
    • Handcrafted items for Thanksgiving and Christmas can be found at this year’s annual holiday crafts show, showcasing the many talents of the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community. 

Affordable Pigeon Forge TN Cabins
Now you have plenty of ideas for free things to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg this fall. All that’s left is to make sure you have an affordable place to stay that’s also comfortable and convenient. Pigeon Forge TN Cabins has tons of budget-friendly options you’ll appreciate, including choices nestled in Gatlinburg. 

Add to your list of things to do in Pigeon Forge with a pool table, a nice view with rocking chairs, a jetted bath indoors, a crackling fireplace, big screen TVs, a steamy hot tub, a grill, complimentary Wi-Fi, and community amenities. We even have affordable pet-friendly cabins so Fido can come along, and you can save on a costly sitter! And every property has a fully equipped kitchen so you can save cash on dining out with homemade meals and reheated leftovers.

Ready to book your affordable — and memorable — fall stay in the Smokies? Book online or reach out to us at 866.513.7885.