I am planning to take a road trip from Michigan to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee with my wife and three kids. I am looking and it appears to be a nine hour drive. I figure if i get up and go around 5am we should be there by at least 3-5pm considering stops etc.

Never been to that area so I was curious how bad is traffic in this area. Will we dread driving down there due to traffic or is it pretty low key?

We plan to go mid-August hoping it will still be warm sunny weather. Does anyone have experience going here via car? Is it a bad idea considering the kiddos are four five and ten?


I haven't been there in a long while, and I was mostly in Gatlinburg and Sevierville, but I might be able to help a bit.

What I can tell you is that most of what you'll want to visit in Pigeon Forge is right off the highway, known as Parkway. It's six lanes, three on each side, plus extra turn lanes at intersections, so you can already tell traffic does get very heavy at times. Afternoons can get bad, and it's the worst from about 2pm Friday (when people arrive to check into hotels) to 2pm Sunday (when everyone's checked out, eaten, and gone). You might consider leaving Michigan a bit later, so that you arrive later in the evening.

You can avoid a lot of the traffic on Parkway by taking Veterans Boulevard out of Sevierville, and using it again when you leave. When you exit I-40 and come into Sevierville, turn left at Main Street, mile 15.6, and then right at Veterans Blvd. Coming into Pigeon Forge it turns into Dollywood Lane and hits Parkway at light #8.

Another thing to be aware of is that you aren't allowed to make U-turns at traffic lights on Parkway. Instead, drive through the light and shortly afterward there will be a dedicated pullout on the left for making U-turns. These are fairly similar to those used in Michigan. So if where you are going is on the other side, you'll drive past it, and then make the next available U-turn.

Once you're in Pigeon Forge, consider walking. But be aware that not all intersections have pedestrian crosswalks, and if there isn't one, it's not safe to cross Parkway there. You can also ride the trolley, though you'll need some cash on hand to pay the fares, or get all day passes at the trolley office next to Patriot Park on Old Mill Ave (light #7).

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