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Anyone who has visited The Inn On The River can tell you that we certainly live up to our name! Our beautiful hotel is located right on the banks of the Little Pigeon River. Guests at our inn can enjoy breathtaking views of the water from their private balconies or from our lovely outdoor patio. To help you prepare for your next vacation, we have put together three fun facts about the Little Pigeon River:
1. The River is Named After an Extinct Species of Bird
The Little Pigeon River takes its name from the passenger pigeon. This bird looked very similar to a turtle dove, and used to be very common in the Great Smoky Mountain area. Many centuries ago, passenger pigeons were an important source of food for various Native Americans tribes. However, in the late 1800s, the birds were hunted to the point of extinction, with the last passenger pigeon dying in captivity in 1914.
While you won’t find any passenger pigeons in the Smokies, the Little Pigeon River is still home to many beautiful birds. Guests at our hotel love to watch the ducks, geese, cranes, and blue herons that frolic beside our patio in the mornings.
Many visitors to the area often confuse the Little Pigeon River with the nearby Pigeon River. Despite the misleading name, the Little Pigeon River is not a tributary of the Pigeon River, meaning that they never meet at any point. While the Little Pigeon River runs through Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg, the Pigeon River is located about 50 minutes away in Hartford, TN.
If you get the chance, the Pigeon River is well worth a visit during your vacation. With its thrilling white water rapids, the Pigeon River is a major destination for rafters and kayakers. In fact, the Pigeon River is the third most rafted river in the entire country! Follow the link to learn about taking a white water rafting trip with Nantahala Outdoor Center.
3. The Little Pigeon River Used to Provide Electricity for Pigeon Forge
In the early 1900s, the Little Pigeon River helped provide electricity for Pigeon Forge! The Old Mill, the city’s iconic gristmill, would generate power when the Little Pigeon River flowed past its giant water wheel. The Little Pigeon River kept the city’s lights on until 1935, when the city found a more modern source of electricity.
Although The Old Mill doesn’t power Pigeon Forge anymore, it continues to grind grain into flour. The mill’s products are used to make the delicious breads, pancakes, biscuits, muffins, and other baked goods at The Old Mill Restaurant and The Old Mill Pottery House Café & Grille. The Old Mill Square is just a 6 minute drive from The Inn On The River!
To start planning your vacation on the Little Pigeon River, browse our selection of Pigeon Forge hotel rooms. If you have any questions about our hotel, or would like a room recommendation, don’t hesitate to give our friendly staff a call!