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Old 06-04-2008, 11:57 AM   #1
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Any recommendations for a campground in or near by Pigeon Forge, TN? Clean, secure and a welcome for my two K9 friends required--some secenry would be an added pleasure.

And how about driving Hwy 441 through the Smokies toward Helen, GA? I'm towing so a little concerned about the grades and any narrow passes.

Thanks.
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:57 AM   #2
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Any recommendations for a campground in or near by Pigeon Forge, TN? Clean, secure and a welcome for my two K9 friends required--some secenry would be an added pleasure.

And how about driving Hwy 441 through the Smokies toward Helen, GA? I'm towing so a little concerned about the grades and any narrow passes.

Thanks.
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:59 AM   #3
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FloraBama: G'Morning. Have haunted the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area a number of times and would kinda strongly suggest camping either in Towndsend (just SW of Pigeon Forge) OR out along Hwy. 321 East of Gatlinburg (try "Smokey Bear cg.). Pigeon Forge AND Gatlinburg are madhouses while Townsend is your quintessential Smokey Mtn. environment...and...be sure to take the day drive out to visit Cades Cove in the mtns. South of Townsend. Re: Hwy. 441 over the mtn. to Cherokee, NC, we've taken this drive a number of times with our toad when camped near Gatlinburg, and we've seen 40' MH's pulling tow cars going both ways. There are some pretty good grades and a few curves (one spirals under itself) but those rigs didn't seem to be having any trouble and there are quite a number of pull-outs to stop at. I'd recommend taking the trip over the mtn. w. your tow car one day while parked over by Pigeon Forge and be SURE to drive out to "Clingmans Dome" when you get to the top at "Newfound Gap" (see map and take paved 2ndry road W. from Newfound Gap out to Clingman's). You'll likely get some of those wonderful smokey mountain pictures out at Clingmans (ya know, the ones with the white mists between the mountain vistas). If ya decide NOT to take your rig over the mtn. it's an easy drive E. from Gatlinburg on 321 then SE on Expswy. 40 down to Waynesville on the S. side of the mtn. Have fun...you'll like the area. Steve & Lynette
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:12 PM   #4
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We will be at Smoky Bear CG July 25 for 6 nites...recommended by another CG to fit my 43..Looking forward to it...the owner is a very int.eresting gal..Chong O'Leary....a Korean married to an Irishman...very nice person who sounds German!!!
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Old 06-06-2008, 04:34 AM   #5
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I suggest you take your tow over the mountain first and decide if you want to tow over. I've seen a bunch of smoking brakes coming down the mountain.

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Old 06-07-2008, 07:29 AM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by FloraBama:
And how about driving Hwy 441 through the Smokies toward Helen, GA? I'm towing so a little concerned about the grades and any narrow passes.

Thanks. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

From Dillsboro, Hwy 441 has a few steep sections. Gear down to at least 2nd (you can do this in an automatic... switch off your overdrive if you can) and don't ride your brakes. Stay on the 4 lane around Franklin (I live here right now... you're not missing anything by going around town except a really steep hill) Take the 441S/Atlanta exit. Watch your speed south of Franklin (they've been patroling in unmarked cars), speed traps in Dillard and Mountain City.

When we go to Helen, we like to take Hwy 76 (turn right at the first traffic light in Clayton at the Dairy Queen) and then take the road that takes you to Moccasin Creek State Park (197). We either will day trip from Franklin or tend to stay at Rabun Beach Campground on Burton Dam Rd and day trip into Helen. This is a campground we like alot and enjoy the hike to the falls there, far from grocery stores though. The campgrounds near Helen tend to fill up fast. Unicoi SP is very nice. From 197 you can take either 356 or 255. Both are about the same. These are back country roads. Scenery is pleasant.

Parking is a PITA in Helen. Do not plan to park your RV in Helen's crowded parking lots. There is simply not enough room and the parking lots tend to be in poor shape.
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:41 AM   #7
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Iv'e been over the mountian in a 32' southwind, and we didn't like the down hill ride. I don't think that I would ever pull a toad that way. That's a steep and long decend.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:37 AM   #8
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Depends on what part. I generally tell folks to take alternative routes for big RVs rather than crossing between Cherokee & Pigeon Forge. The scenery is just to pretty to miss.

441 has only 2 good steep sections between Dillsboro & Franklin. South of Franklin it's pretty flat and straight.

441 runs from just south of Lake City FL thru GA, NC, to just south of Newport TN. That's alot of different terrain to drive thru. At one time, or another I've been on most of it. It is a good primary road. 4 laned thru a fair amount. Most recently, we've been bypassing Atlanta on 441 from Macon GA up to Franklin NC. I save over an hour in travel time and that's in the RV.
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Old 06-12-2008, 01:47 PM   #9
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We just got back from there and the traffic on 441 from from Sevierville to Pigeon Forge to Gatlinburg was really a mess. This was Memorial day weekend but I understand that it only gets worse. We visited the park and going over the mountain could be tough with a toad. Another poster made the suggestion to try it with the toad first and that makes a lot of sense. We stayed on the east side of Gatlinburg on 321 (Outdoor Resorts) and really liked the area. There is a great road off 321 into the park but does not connect with 441. Very quiet and secluded though. 321 has much less traffic and there are short cuts to Pigeon Forge and 441 (South of main part of town) and much quicker than taking 441 all the way.

Instead of exiting on 441 (Servierville exit) we continued on until 40 turned south and exited on exit 440 (Hwy 73) which connected with 321 east of Gatlinburg. The first section of 321 is pretty narrow with some pretty tight turns but not really a problem. There is also a new bridge being built and concrete barriers for a few hundred feet but not a problem. DON'T take Foothills parkway off of 40 if you decide to go that way. Not only is it narrow and twisty, the trees branches are not trimmed high enough for a tall MH. You can rejoin 441 south of the park via 19 or 74. I think 74 is a little bit better road than 19 but not sure. We were in a 40' MH with a toad.

Have fun, its a great area.
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:55 PM   #10
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In reply to the first part of your question, there are quite a few campgrounds in Pigeon Forge. There are 3 Passport America Parks, Shady Oaks CG, Eagles Nest and the one I usually stay at is Creekside Rv Park. Most of the campgrounds are on Route 321 including Kings Holly Haven heading towards Townsend. There is also a KOA in town but a bit pricey. I would suggest you looking in Woodalls or Trailer Life as there are a bunch of them. When going into Pigeon Forge from Cherokee I suggest you take By-Pass into Pigeon Forge as traffic in Gatlinburg can be tough.

There are also campgrounds in Smoky Mountain Nat'l Park but no hookups.

Townsend has a nice campground however it became pricey since last time I was there.

As far as Rt 441 goes I have never traveled from Cherokee to Helen that way but would think since it is a state road it should be OK. Don't forget when you are rving you are not in any hurry so drive slow and if you encounter steep grades, downshift. Remember whatever gear you go up a hill and use the same gear to go down a hill. Helen is very pretty area and the we usually stay at Cherokee CG but have stayed at Unicoi state park hower you have to be a mountain goat here.

Enjoy your trip as it is beautiful country, I know been there a lot of times.
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