While there’s something special and exciting about seeing the giant green Exit 407 sign, we know traffic can get backed up sometimes. The same goes for the infamous Parkway that goes through Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg. Traffic can put a damper on your trip, especially if you’re trying to get somewhere on time.
The Parkway is an awesome road that is full of attractions, but there are a few ways to get there without sitting in too much traffic. Also, there are other exits you can take off the interstate that lead you here! Let’s get into it!
Exit 440 off I-40: If you’re coming from North Carolina, take this one! You’ll definitely enjoy this drive. It will take you on a bit of Foothills Parkway and through scenic Cosby, TN. When you get to Highway 321 you’ll be in Gatlinburg!
Exit 443 off I-40: Just a 3-mile difference from Exit 440, but you’ll get to enjoy more of Foothills Parkway. Again, you’ll end up on Highway 321 to Gatlinburg.
Exit 388 off I-40: If you’re coming from Nashville, this will be your best exit to take. It leads you to Chapman highway, which ends up in downtown Sevierville. From there, you’ll take the Parkway straight to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
Exit 81 off I-75: If you’re coming from Georgia or a surrounding state, take this exit to enjoy a more scenic route through Townsend without the traffic of the interstate.
Chapman Highway: This road heads from Knoxville, through Seymour, and into Sevierville from the interstate. It’s a great way to bypass the often-busy Exit 407!
Veteran’s Boulevard: This road parallels the Parkway. It’s a 3-lane road to ease traffic. From Veteran’s Boulevard you can turn onto Collier Dr. to get to Tanger Outlets. Or you can head to the opposite end that leads out to Pigeon Forge, right next to TopJump and Toy Box Mini Golf!
Teaster Lane: Towards the very end of Veteran’s Boulevard, turn onto Teaster Lane. Not only are there plenty of attractions on this road, it also keeps you off about 3 miles of the Parkway! From Teaster you can get to The Island, The Mountain Mile, and The Old Mill.
*Bonus Tips and Tricks*
Take the Trolley: Less cars on the Parkway means less traffic. The Trolly system is fantastic here! It leads to all your favorite places in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. The main Trolley station is next to Patriot Park, and the parking is free!
Walk: This may not be so practical in Pigeon Forge, but in Gatlinburg it makes your vacation less stressful! Once you leave your car at one of the many lots downtown, we recommend walking through the city. You’ll likely end up at places on the main strip you’d never heard of!
When is traffic the heaviest? Great question. Traffic is at its heaviest during Spring and Fall Rod Runs, during major holidays (Independence Day and New Year’s Eve especially), and during Spring breaks. As they change yearly, we recommend checking for common Spring break dates and Rod Run dates before your visit.