Of course, one of the criteria for your secluded Smoky Mountain cabin is that it has an inspiring view of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. To extol the history, the splendor, and the amenities of the National Park could take days. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful resource literally at our back door! But what if all you need is a place for a cranky kid to let loose? Or you want to get in a quick jog or walk, without hiking shoes? A shady place to plant for a picnic? Need a large pavilion to rent for a family function? Need to exercise the pets? We always enjoy meeting smart tourists at the city parks that we frequent throughout the county. Here’s a map plotting the locations and a reference list with features.
Gatlinburg has three city parks: Mills Park, Herbert Holt Park, and Mynatt Park.
1. Mills Park is the largest and is located off Highway 321 on Mills Park Road. It has a Disc Golf course with 9 holes, a skate park, a playground, 400 meter track, basketball, softball, and football fields; picnic area with grills, and more.
2. Herbert Holt Park is directly off the Parkway on the right as you enter into Gatlinburg from the Spur, after passing through Pigeon Forge. Though the smallest of the three, it has a playground and plenty of shade for picnicking. Fishing for children (also with wheelchair access) is allowed in the adjacent stream. A trout rearing facility is also located here.
3. Mynatt Park is the most scenic, and literally at the National Park border. It is located on Asbury Lane off Historic Nature Trail in the heart of Gatlinburg, just before the entrance to the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Soothing and peaceful, a stocked stream runs alongside the shady picnic area, a lovely place to wade, with a footbridge and child fishing available. There are clean restrooms, a basketball court, and a ball field. An ample playground area and tennis courts are located a half-block up the street. Mynatt Park is our long-term family favorite for a relaxation spot after the hubbub of downtown Gatlinburg.
Pigeon Forge has two municipal park locations.
4. Patriot Park is located on Old Mill Avenue, just past the Old Mill complex in the heart of Pigeon Forge. It is the centerpiece of all special event festivals held in the city, from Independence Day fireworks to the Winterfest “turn on the lights” kickoff. It shares its parking lot with the city Funtime trolley system, and has a walking track that runs beside the Pigeon River (a good place to feed the resident ducks). The park is named to honor service veterans and has appropriate memorabilia. Large, flat and open, it is also a good spot to throw any sort of sports ball around or to enjoy field play with your pet.
5. Wear Farm City Park is virtually brand new, completed in spring 2013. It replaces the former city park that was absorbed with the expansion of the wastewater treatment plant. It is located on Wears Valley Road, just out of the city on the left, and borders Waldens Creek at its backside. This is sports field central: football, basketball, and 5 baseball fields. There are also two ADA all-access playgrounds, and shelter areas for gathering. Tournaments are often played here, and it’s a good place for jocks to get their energy out and game on.
6. Sevierville City Park has a renovated, modern public pool with splash pad and slide, a diving board and very reasonable entrance fees ($5 adult, $4 child/senior, under 4 years free, spectator $2.50). In addition, there is a shady picnic area with pavilions next to a stream, ballfields, renovated tennis courts, a playground, and a walking greenway.
As you can see, the variety of activities available is surprising, and most are free or just a nominal fee. So come be outside with us, and join the locals at some of our favorite places to play.