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 — 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!
Yep, just bring along your hiking boots or mountain bicycle, a couple of water bottles, a few snacks, and you’re ready to go! Maybe you’d prefer to stay in your car for a leisurely drive through Cades Cove or around the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. You could pack a picnic lunch and find a cozy spot by the Little Pigeon River in the Greenbrier Picnic Area. Or catch your meal by fly fishing the national park waters for trout in season. Even bird watching is an option. Whatever you decide, the national park has tons of great free things to do in fall!
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!
- 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 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. And short ways 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 water and soak in the fall scenery for a bit.
FREE October Events
Who doesn’t love a FREE event in October, one of the most beautiful months of the year in the Smokies? Well, we have 4 events — without an entrance fee — in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg we think you’ll enjoy. Naturally, social distancing and mask requirements are in place for safety precautions.
- OkTOBERfest at Ober Gatlinburg | September 25 – November 1
- Bringing great 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 Festival in Sevierville | October 1 – 31
- 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!
- Halloween Spooktacular at Pigeon Forge Community Center | October 29
- 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 8:00 p.m. Wear a costume, and you’ll get a bonus 50% off a 48-hour unlimited ride pass!
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! Ready to book or have a few questions? Reach out to us at 865.513.7885.