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Pigeon Forge History & Visitor Guide

Amazing Attractions and Awesome Natural Beauty

Named for the Little Pigeon River, which flows through the town, and one of the first businesses in this East Tennessee town, iron forges, Pigeon Forge is one of the most beloved tourist and vacation destinations in the U.S. The Cherokee and other eastern tribes of American Indians once used the area of present-day Pigeon Forge for their hunting grounds and in 1796, the year Tennessee became a state, a large area was ceded to the federal government.

In the population records for the year 1907, only 154 people lived in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, but tourists soon began to trickle into town in the 1930s. When the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established in 1934, even more traffic flooded to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, with the need for affordable lodging and hotels rising to accommodate vacationers.

Not until the 1980s did Pigeon Forge truly start becoming a major tourism destination, especially when Dolly Parton gave her name to Dollywood Theme Park, built on the site of the former Silver Dollar City attractions.

Today, Pigeon Forge is a bustling destination, with exciting attractions, family activities, restaurants, shops and events and live shows which draw crowds from all over the country. Plan your visit to Pigeon Forge by choosing an affordable hotel near the Smoky Mountains, Dollywood, and the all the incredible things to do - choose Econo Lodge Riverside in Pigeon Forge!