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Everything You Need To Know About The Little Pigeon River

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Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, the Little Pigeon River offers bustling streams, deep pools, and diverse wildlife. It’s a gathering spot for tourists and locals alike to take in the sights and sounds of the area. Here’s everything you need to know about the Little Pigeon River in Sevierville:

The History

old millThe Little Pigeon River was originally named by Cherokee Indians after the sizable groups of wild passenger pigeons that came through the area. Although passenger pigeons are extinct now, there are plenty of other bird species you may see in the area. The Little Pigeon River plays an important role in the history of Pigeon Forge because it is home to The Old Mill. The Old Mill provided electricity for the town of Pigeon Forge until 1935. Although The Old Mill no longer provides electricity for the area, it still stands and grinds flour and other goods for The Old Mill Restaurant and The Old Mill Pottery House Café & Grille.

The Geography

The Little Pigeon River is thirty miles long and exists entirely in Sevier County. It’s split into three tributaries, the East prong, the middle prong, and the West prong. The Little Pigeon River breaks off the French Broad River near Smoky Mountain Knife Works, then travels along Winfield Dunn Parkway until it splits and the West prong flows toward the Smoky Mountains. Where it crosses the North Carolina border, it breaks into streams including Porter’s Creek, Little Laurel Branch, and Ramsey Branch. Despite its name, the Little Pigeon River is not a tributary of the Pigeon River, but they are both tributaries of the French Broad River.

Things To Do

smoky mountain riverThe Little Pigeon River is a popular destination for people wanting to get outdoors in the Smokies! Visitors can take a relaxing float down a calmer portion of the river, or go swimming in the Middle Prong near Greenbrier. Swimmers also may want to check out the spot where the West Prong and Middle Prong intersect; the deep pools formed here are perfect for swimming. These swimming holes also have large rocks that are ideal for sunbathing or enjoying a picnic lunch! The Little Pigeon River is also extremely popular among fishermen. You can catch smallmouth bass, wild brook trout, or stocked weekly rainbow trout from any of the numerous access points along the river. The Little Pigeon River is also home to the Riverwalk Greenway, a beautiful tree lined walking path with benches along the way to take in the scenic views.

There’s a variety of outdoor areas you can check out when you visit the Smoky Mountains but the Little Pigeon River offers a perfect combination of natural beauty and outdoor recreation activities. You can sit and take in the scenery, or go for an exciting swim, all in different areas of the same river. Fortunately, our resort offers riverside rooms where you can enjoy the view from a private patio! Check out our condos and villas to begin the perfect Smoky Mountain vacation!

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