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Best route from north AL?

Huntsville, Alabama
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Best route from north AL?

Hi everyone! I've been reading these forums for about a month now, but this is my first time posting.

My husband & I and another couple will be in Gatlinburg from April 17th - April 21st (RIBFEST!!). I've heard about this rod run thing in Pigeon Forge and that traffic will be very heavy there. What is the best route to take to avoid the P.F. traffic?

We are coming from Huntsville, AL through Chattanooga on I-75. Our first plan was to take Hwy 66 from I-40 and go through Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, but now I'm getting worried about traffic. Is it worth it to go past Knoxville on I-40 and continue to 321 through Cosby? Oh, I forgot to add that we are staying at Gatlinburg Falls Resort in Gatlinburg.

Thanks for your advice - I'm so glad to have found this forum!

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Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg
Sevier County, TN
Pigeon Forge
Pigeon Forge
Sevier County, TN
Chattanooga
Chattanooga
Tennessee
Sevierville
Sevierville
Sevier County, TN
Knoxville
Knoxville
Tennessee
Gatlinburg Falls Resort
Gatlinburg Falls Resort
2,765 Reviews
Gatlinburg, TN
Chickamauga, Georgia
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for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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1. Re: Best route from north AL?

O.K. here's the route we always take from Chattanooga.

Head up I-75 north to exit #81 (Lenoir City).

Make a right onto Hwy 321 at the top of the exit ramp.

Continue along Hwy 321 through Lenoir City, across the Ft. Loudon dam, through Maryville, and into Townsend.

Once in Townsend, Hwy 321 will make a left onto Wears Valley Road (the only traffic light in the middle of Townsend). Keep going straight and in about another 2 miles, you'll come to the entrance of the National Park and shortly thereafter, the Townsend Y intersection.

At the Y intersection, make a left turn and head down LIttle River Road through the park. When you reach the end of the road at the intersection of Hwy 441 (Newfound Gap Road) near the Sugarlands Visitor Center, make a left and in another 2 miles, you'll be in Gatlinburg.

This route can be slower than the interstate to Hwy 66, BUT it avoids Pigeon Forge altogether and that's important on the Rod run weekends.

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Chattanooga
Chattanooga
Tennessee
Townsend
Townsend
Tennessee
Little River Road
Little River Road
171 Reviews
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Newfound Gap Road
Newfound Gap Road
629 Reviews
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg
Sevier County, TN
Pigeon Forge
Pigeon Forge
Sevier County, TN
alabama
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331 posts
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2. Re: Best route from north AL?

Hi..we take north 75..exit on #81 lenoir city..follow 321 thru lenoir city thru maryville into townsend..in townsend look for 321 north I think it is the 2ed light..turn left(also known as wears valley road)..this road connects townsend to pigeon forge..now about 7 or 8 miles (this is a guess) you will see lyon springs road on your right,there are several roads off of this part of the highway,so pay close attention,turn right on lyon springs,follow this road and it runs into the park..you will be in metcalf bottoms,the picnic area,off little river road..as you exit the picnic area,turn left on little river road and follow signs into gatlinburg..another option would be to drive thru townsend,this would take you into the park,it is the townsend y intersection,take a left and follow signs into gburg...on both of these routes when entering the gatlinburg area I would take the gatlinburg bypass to avoid downtown gatlinburg...I hope this helps..

ky.boy
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3. Re: Best route from north AL?

Hey yall, which way is quickest, thru townsend or going on and turning on lyon springs road?

Chickamauga, Georgia
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4. Re: Best route from north AL?

Lyon Spring Road may be a little quicker, but not near as nice a drive.

I prefer the Little River Road route the entire way.

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Little River Road
Little River Road
171 Reviews
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Huntsville, Alabama
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22 posts
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5. Re: Best route from north AL?

Thanks to everyone for your input!

I'm saving all the replies so my husband will be convinced to go this way. Now, if only there was a way to make these 28 days go by faster :)

Can't wait to get there!

Linden, New Jersey
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6. Re: Best route from north AL?

Coming from Jackson, Tn on I-40,can you take this same turn off to avoid exit 407 and the traffic on the Parkway ?

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Jackson
Jackson
Tennessee
Boston...
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7. Re: Best route from north AL?

Yes, you can. Here are directions: http://tinyurl.com/3bh8wo

Linden, New Jersey
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8. Re: Best route from north AL?

Thanks Blue ! I printed the directions out so I can remember them. Should be a much nicer drive than taking I-40 all the way to exit 407.

Betty

Nashville, TN
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9. Re: Best route from north AL?

Hi mls-al,

Here's a short story about NOT going through Pigeon Forge to Gatlinburg.

My friend in Nashville, and his son in Chattanooga, left for the Gatlinburg Parade early one Friday. Both took the Lenoir City / Maryville / Townsend way. My friend followed my directions and kept going straight to the Park from Townsend and went Little River Rd to Gatlinburg. Hardly no traffic at all. The son didn't follow our directions and went Hwy 321 through Wears Valley / Pigeon Forge. TWO HOURS later the son finally showed up in Gatlinburg because the son didn't take the Park route and ran into much traffic in Pigeon Forge.

Bob

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Pigeon Forge
Pigeon Forge
Sevier County, TN
Nashville
Nashville
Davidson County, TN
Chattanooga
Chattanooga
Tennessee
Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg
Sevier County, TN
Townsend
Townsend
Tennessee
Huntsville, Alabama
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22 posts
3 reviews
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10. Re: Best route from north AL?

Oh wow Bob. Thanks for the story!

Now more than ever, I am totally convinced to avoid going through Pigeon Forge. Two hours later?!? That's unreal!

Thanks again for the advice,

Margaret

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Pigeon Forge
Pigeon Forge
Sevier County, TN