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Parks - Pigeon Forge with 15 month old

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Cleveland, Ohio
posts: 509
reviews: 95
Parks - Pigeon Forge with 15 month old

Hi everyone! I am planning our first trip to Pigeon Forge for this summer. We'll likely be going in July. It will be my husband and I, our 2 girls (ages 11 and 14) and our 15 month old son. Although he's not walking yet (just taking 3 or 4 steps on his own) he'll be walking by July for sure, but still not good enough, imo, for us to be without a stroller. With that being said, will I have any problems going to the Parks to do some hiking with the older girls with him being in a stroller. I don't have a jogging stroller and I know those might be better for the terrain. Has anyone ever rented baby equipment while there? Also, suggestions for a cabin or location? Any other activites that anyone can recommend that we would all enjoy together would be great.

I really want to take the family and go on a picnic. Any suggestions as to a good location for that would be helpful. We also want to do horseback riding (without the baby of course). Since hubby has no interest in horseback riding, I'll take the girls and he'll hang with the baby. Then one day he's going to take the girls to do the zip lines. I think we'll also plan a trip to either Dollywood or the Dollwood water park. Both if finances allow. Also, would you recommend we stay in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge/Seiverville area? Sorry this is so long....so many questions!! Thanks in advance for any assistance that you can provide!

Cinn, OH
posts: 1,264
reviews: 26
1. Re: Parks - Pigeon Forge with 15 month old

Except on the paved trails, I would not attempt a trail with a stroller, can you use a back carrier? Even on the paved trails, like Laurel and Clingman's Dome, I don't think I would use the stroller, on Laurel, unless they have fixed the trail, the asphalt is rough and on Clingman's Dome, you would have to push uphill, then coming downhill, you would have to make sure you did not let go of the stroller at all. The stroller would come in handy at Dollywood and shopping in town.

Canada, Kentucky
posts: 778
reviews: 2
2. Re: Parks - Pigeon Forge with 15 month old

Hello! I know that you are looking forward to your first trip!!!! I agree that a back carrier would be a good idea. There aren't too many trails that would be suitable for strollers. As far as location to stay....Gatlinburg is more of a walking town and Pigeon Forge is more of a driving town. Prices will be better in PF. Are you wanting a hotel or considering a cabin? It can all be overwhelming! There is a beautiful picnic area about 5 miles up the mountain called The Chimney Tops. Take in as much as you can in the park. It is all free and there are way too many things to tell. You can google free travel books for the area and that will give you time at home to read and plan. I will try and find some sites for you. I hope this helps you out! :)

Cleveland, Ohio
posts: 509
reviews: 95
3. Re: Parks - Pigeon Forge with 15 month old

I didn't really consider a backpack carrier. We took the kids to Orlando this past thanksgiving when my son was 7 months old and I tried to carry him around in one of those carriers that go on the hip and thought I was going to die!!! Hopefully a backpack carrier will work better. Although my girls were little and petite when they were his age....he is not. At barely 10 months old he is already 25 pounds and 32 inches tall. I am 5'1 and my husband is 6'2 so I guess 1 out of three will be taking after my husband!

I've really been weighing the pros and cons of hotel vs cabin. I wouldn't mind the hotel because it will be more of a vacation for me....no cooking or cleaning every single day. But, the added privacy, space and freedom of renting a Cabin I think outweigh the hotel. So, the hubby and girls may not like it....but I think that they will all be doing a little more cleaning up after themselves on vacation than what they do at home!! Otherwise, I will cram the three of them in a hotel room together and my son and I will have our own room....haha! So....long story short....a cabin is what I prefer. Any recommendations would be great. I'll start googling more info on the state park and trails. Thanks for your help!

Paris, Tn
Destination Expert
for Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge
posts: 1,886
reviews: 23
4. Re: Parks - Pigeon Forge with 15 month old

I'll tell you where there's a really nice place for a picnic....it's called "Metcalf Bottom" campground. It's located on "Little River Rd" and about a mile from "Little Greenbriar School," and cemetery. At this campground, there's plenty of parking, and nearby are modern restrooms. The campground has nice picnic tables, each comes with its own charcoal grill. Depending on the time of year, the tables are covered by shady trees. If you are fortunate enough to get a spot close to the river, you'll be close enough to be at your picnic table and keep an eye on family members as they play in the river.

Actually, I'd suggest you stay in Pigeon Forge because there's a much greater selection of motels there, so therefore you can get better prices G/burg. I hope this helps some.....anything for a fellow Clevelander

Ray

Paris, Tn
Destination Expert
for Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge
posts: 1,886
reviews: 23
5. Re: Parks - Pigeon Forge with 15 month old

My last paragraph should've went something like this......If it were me, I'd stay in P/F as opposed to a motel in G/burg. There's so many more motels in P/F as opposed to G/burg. So therefore the room rates in P/F are more likely to be competative. A good motel in Pigeon Forge I recommend Ray

Athens, Georgia
posts: 2,426
reviews: 24
6. Re: Parks - Pigeon Forge with 15 month old

Hotel vs motel, they both have their pros and cons. The only rental co we have used and had a great experience with was www.majesticmountainvacations.com

I recommend cades cove, hopefully it will be open by july (they are paving the road). There are some great places for a picnic and a great history lesson for your girls. The chimneys are also a good spot.

When your girls get into town they are going to see so much they would like to see and do.... don't have it all planned out yet because they may add alot more to your list. LOL

Boston...
posts: 5,537
reviews: 48
7. Re: Parks - Pigeon Forge with 15 month old

For a picnic in July I'd recommend setting down somewhere in the fields of Cades Cove or finding a niche somewhere along Little River Road (maybe at Tremont or Elkmont or at a pull out, probably not at Metcalf since that'll be mobbed). If you'd like something nice away from the crowds, drive out to the Cosby or Greenbrier entrances. Both have picnic tables and are nice spots of the park with easy hiking around them (Porter's Creek Trail in Greenbrier and Cosby Nature Trail in Cosby).

Cincinnati, Ohio
posts: 3,737
8. Re: Parks - Pigeon Forge with 15 month old

If you do the ziplines, here is a coupon you might be able to use. I have not used half price.com, but it has been discussed on here before and it works.

I didn't see any info on experation dates so you might what to look further into that.

You'll have to scroll down about 3/4 of the page. There are coupons for both Gatlinburg Ziplines and Wahoo Ziplines.

http://halfoffdepot.com/knoxville/

Delaware
Destination Expert
for Rehoboth Beach
posts: 1,602
reviews: 670
9. Re: Parks - Pigeon Forge with 15 month old

HI!

You would probably not have problems with a stroller at some of the regular parks--like Patriot Park. The kids might enjoy feeding the ducks along the river here!! You might also be ok with it on the Cataract Falls trail, since most of it is flat (but its not paved--so it might get stuck in dirt or mud if it rains). I personally wouldn't want to take a stroller to Clingman's Dome or Laurel Falls trail either--but I have seen people do it. Just the fear of the stroller getting away and going off the cliff would be enough for me. I have never rented a stroller, but I do know that the Smoky Mountain Nut House in Gatlinburg does rent strollers. It just stuck with me since I found it odd for a nut place to rent out baby strollers.

As far as picnics spots go, I personally like the Chimenys Picnic Area. I always liked the large river rocks that you could climb on and take photos of each other standing out in the river on the huge rocks. Your 11 & 14 year old would probably enjoy it. And it is a nice shady spot where you can rest along the river.

As an adult, I personally like to stay in Gatllinburg since it is a walking town. You can walk from your hotel room to attractions, shops and restaurants. Plus, if you get a room in Gatlinburg then you automatically get a free parking spot at your hotel. IF you do not stay in Gatlinburg, then plan to pay to park for the day in a pay lot OR ride the trolley in. It does have a little bit of an adult night life--since there are a few bars downtown on the strip. Pigeon Forge is more spread out. So, you would have to drive from place to place or take the trolley. Parking is free in most places in Pigeon Forge. It is a nice family oriented area. We probably spent most of our time in Pigeon Forge as a family (Dollywood, Old Mill, Outlets, Mini-Golf, etc). Sevierville to me is the quieter of the 3 towns...not quite as many attractions & more residential. It also has a historic downtown with the courthouse and Dolly statue. My Mom used to get us a hotel room in Sevierville when we were kids. I think it was because the rooms were cheaper there...as compared to Gatlinburg. We always found it to be kind of boring as kids--except for the ducks and muskrats along the river out back of our hotel. I think as kids we would have preferred Pigeon Forge--especially one of the hotels with the waterslides!! But, I would suggest to select the town & hotel/cabin that meets your needs. I would pick a place where you plan to spend the majority of your time in order to save on travel time. It sounds like you will be in Pigeon Forge quite a bit--so it might be the best option overall for the family.

Also, you mentioned that you might go to Dollywood's Splash Country. It is a nice waterpark & will definately be lots of fun. It is a little pricey though. IF you want some natural waterpark fun--you might consider going river tubing in Townsend or Sevierville. There are several places to choose from in Townsend--we went with River Rat last year & had a blast. OF course this is not something the baby could do, but the 11 &14 year old might like it. And it is a fraction of the cost of Splash Country. IF you go to Townsend, you could check out the FREE Little River Railroad & Lumber Museum. My husband loved it. It gives a nice peek at the history of the area. Nearby are also a few riding stables (Walden Creek, Davy Crockett and Cades Cove) and Tuckaleechee Caverns. There is also a small roadside waterfall at the Walden Creek Stables INFO stop on the drive through Wears Valley to Townsend. It is small, but worth a peek if you are traveling the route.

Hope this helps!! Have a great trip & if you have more questions--don't hestitate to ask.

Edited: 10:36 am, March 10, 2010
Canada, Kentucky
posts: 778
reviews: 2
10. Re: Parks - Pigeon Forge with 15 month old

Hi again! I know exactly what you mean about the cabin/hotel deal. Have you considered staying in a hotel with a family suite? One comes to mind that might interest you. Mainstay Suites in PF. Actually it is not located right on the strip...it is a very short distance off the parkway. Seems more private. Haven't stayed there personally but visited some friends there. They had a large suite with a full kitchen/living room/balcony. The complex has a large indoor pool as well as a huge outdoor lazy river. Not sure about the reviews. I'm sure there tons of them....thats just an idea.