An Outdoorsman Guide to Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains

You are sinking further into your steamy hot tub, swaying in your rocking chair, stuffing your face with delicious meals in Pigeon Forge, and watching movies in your cabin theater room… but you didn’t come to the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains to stay inside. Or, maybe you did, and with a Pigeon Forge cabin…we get it. But if you are longing to explore those beautiful mountains you are gawking over from the cabin’s deck, we can help you get started!

Whether you are an avid outdoorsman or just now strapping on your first pair of boots, we all have to start in the same places when it comes to hunting, hiking, and fishing in the Smokies. Once you know where to start, then you can explore unique trails, discover a new passion, bag some big game, or reel in a prize-winning catch.

Where to Start: Hiking

Know Your Limits
Because the Smoky Mountains are home to over 800 miles of hiking trails, it means plenty of variety. Consider: what is your body’s most comfortable hike for the vacation you are on? If you are with the kids and you are going to Dollywood the next day, I don’t care if you can hike 10 miles – you probably won’t want to. When you are trying to keep up with your little balls of energy, high-tailing it to the next exciting ride in Dollywood, and your legs are sore and want to be in the cabin hot tub…you might regret that huge hike. I hike on a regular basis, and I would not subject my own legs to that kind of torture. Now, if you are on a fantastic getaway with friends and know your next day’s itinerary is full of relaxing by the indoor pool, napping by the fire, and reading a book in the hot tub – go for it.

Gear Up!
I always manage to forget something, but even if you don’t think you forgot your gear, it doesn’t hurt to stop by some local outdoor stores. There are some really awesome outfitters with so much quality hiking nearby!

Hikey Mikey
157 Old Mill Ave
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

Day Hiker
634 Parkway #1
Gatlinburg, TN 37738

NOC Gatlinburg
1138 Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Easy Hikes That Boast Awesome Views
These are the hikes with lovely scenery you can do in under a few hours, with the kids, or in the morning before heading off to your next Pigeon Forge adventure:
• Laurel Falls
• Andrews Bald
• Cataract Falls
• Fighting Creek Nature Trail
• Twin Creeks Trail
• Jakes Creek Trail
• Clingmans Dome

Moderate Hikes
These are those hikes that are well followed-up by hearty meals at The Old Mill, soaking well-worked legs in the hot tub, and sipping some local wine by the fire back at the cabin.
• Alum Cave Trail
• Abrams Falls
• Rainbow Falls
• Little River Trail
• Upper Sugarlands Mountain Trail
• Chimney Tops (Newly constructed observation deck following the 2016 Gatlinburg Wildfires)

More info and trail details for hiking

Where to Start: Hunting

Know Your Game
When you go to purchase your hunting license, there are different licenses for the game you plan on pursuing. If you are hunting strictly for small game and waterfowl, it’s obviously going to be much cheaper than a Hunting-All Game license. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency offers specific licenses that vary for residents and non-residents, time, and game, as well as easy all-in-one packages, too! The Vacation Outdoorsman Package includes a variety of game hunting and fishing licenses for big game, small game, all fish species, waterfowl, and migratory birds. Click here to purchase your base license and any additional necessary licenses with ease!

Where to Find Ammo, Gear, and Guns
J Floyds Golf
539 Winfield Dunn Pkwy
Sevierville, TN 37876

Buds Gun Shop and Tennessee Range
2270 Two Rivers Blvd
Sevierville, TN 37876

Smoky Mountain Guns & Ammo
2320 Winfield Dunn Pkwy
Sevierville, TN 37876

Where to Hunt
While you cannot hunt within the boundaries of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pigeon Forge is equal distance to a number of Wildlife Management Areas. On page 71 of the Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide, detailed maps of Wildlife Management Areas are provided along with available game, season information, and legal hunting gear. Some WMAs are home to more bear sanctuaries where you cannot hunt, while others allow for the fair chase of all big game, simply know your game and pick the respective WMA! Not sure if you want to navigate new hunting territory? A guided hunt with a local expert can be extremely helpful for those new to the sport or those who want better odds for a profitable hunt! Check out Rocky Top Outfitters. These guys have been hunting bear, deer, boar, and turkey with visitors since 1994!

Have a bird dog that accompanies you on every hunt? No worries, your best friend can tag along for your stay in the Smokies in a pet-friendly Pigeon Forge Cabin!

Where to Start: Fishing

License to Cast
You really have options, here. From 3-Day All Species to Annual, Residential and Non-Residential, you can pay for exactly what you need! Just visit a local angling company or simply purchase your license online!

Rentals, Poles, Tackle, and More
With fishing being so popular in this area, you have a plethora of resources and options for all your fishing needs and desires. Pick up some new gear, buy some bait, or talk to the informative locals about prime fishing spots. You can even opt to take a guided fishing tour for an incredible fishing trip with an expert that includes tackle and bait! Here are the some of the most reputable retailers and guides:

Smoky Mountain Angler
469 Brookside Village Way
Gatlinburg, TN 37738

3 Rivers Angler
5113 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37919

Smokies Angling Adventures Guide Service
3520 Dockery Drive
Mascot, TN 37806

Your Complete Guide to Tennessee Fish
Filled with tons of great information, from their usual habitats, behaviors, and colored pictures, this guide is something you can easily pull up on your smart phone and keep with you as you identify your catches or hunt for the right fishing hunt home to a specific species!

Where to Cast
There are Pigeon Forge Cabins nestled right on the banks of babbling streams and peaceful rivers, perfect for walking right out of your cabin, unfolding your lawn chair, and setting up shop with ease. Get out and explore, though, because all 2,000+ miles of stream in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park are open for fishing!

Twice a year, you can even win prizes for your catch during the Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament! (What a perfect pitch for a vacation, right?)