Smoky Mountains in April: Events in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge [2023]

Smoky Mountains in April

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With so much to see and do in The Smokies and East Tennessee this season – we thought it would be helpful to create this little April round-up of upcoming local events.

April is a beautiful month here in the Smokies.

In April, we start to see signs of springtime with blooming rhododendrons, budding trees, roaming wildlife and spectacular sunrises.

We also get to celebrate Easter and the many holiday-related activities that come along with it like area Easter egg hunts.

April also marks the return of the Pigeon Forge Rod Run – the area’s largest car show.

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The Island in Pigeon Forge in April
Trees begin to bloom at The Island in April (photo by Bill Burris/

Things to do in the Smoky Mountains in April

Theme park lovers will enjoy attending Dollywood’s Flower and Food Festival and seeing Anakeesta in full bloom.

If you are a car fanatic or enjoy sitting in traffic for long periods of time, you may also want to check out Rod Run (more on that below).

We also love listening to live local music by attending free performances at Puckett’s, Hard Rock Cafe, The Listening Room and Ole Red on the weekends.

Read Also: What are the best restaurants in Gatlinburg TN? 17 top places to eat

And of course, the warmer weather also opens up other possibilities – of the outdoor variety.

You may want to consider a hike on one of the popular trails in and around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park like The Gatlinburg Trail, the Trillium Gap Trail (to the Grotto Falls waterfall), Clingmans Dome (Clingmans Dome Road normally reopens in April), the Little River Trail or the Ramsey Cascades Trail.

If hiking trails aren’t your thing – there’s also The Gatlinburg Wine Trail.

Or perhaps you prefer a self-guided tour from the comfort of your own vehicle?

Popular scenic drives like the Cades Cove Loop Road (near Gatlinburg), Newfound Gap Road and the Blue Ridge Parkway (on the North Carolina side of the Smokies) are also always a solid option. And don’t forget – Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail usually reopens in April as well.

Read Also: Gatlinburg trails: Best 5 hiking trails in the Smokies, ranked

After a long day on the trail, take in a dinner show at the Pirates Voyage, Dolly Parton’s Stampede or the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud.

Read Also: Theaters and shows in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg: Our top 12 ranked

And don’t forget to add some adventure into your stay with area ziplining, mini golf, go-karts and ATV rentals.

Read Also: Side by side rentals, ATV tours in the Smoky Mountains: Our top 10 ranked

Below you will find a list of events happening throughout the area. Cities mentioned include Pigeon Forge, Townsend, Kodak, Sevierville and Gatlinburg.

Be sure to click on the “details” button for additional information on each event.

April brings a mixture of sunshine and rain but temperatures may still be on the cool side early in the evenings. Pictured, a dog and its companion at The Island in Pigeon Forge
April brings a mixture of sunshine and rain but temperatures may still be on the cool side early in the evenings. Pictured, a dog and its companion at The Island in Pigeon Forge (photo by Bill Burris/

Weather in the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg in April

We finally start to see some warm weather after a long cold winter around mid-April with highs in the 70s. But don’t be surprised if you also encounter a few chilly nights during your stay as lows are known to creep down into the 40s and 50s.

As a general rule of thumb, consider April a transitional month as far as weather is concerned.

The earlier in the month you visit, the colder it may be.

Just remember to pack an umbrella. Precipitation is fairly constant in the Smokies in the spring.

The average rainfall is about 3.9 inches.

What should you wear in the Smoky Mountains in April?

Pack a variety of clothes when planning for a trip to the Smokies in April. Temperatures can vary greatly depending on the time of month and time of day.

You may even want to pack a medium-weight jacket if you are planning on visiting earlier in the month when the weather tends to be a bit cooler.

The same logic applies if you plan on spending a lot of time in the higher elevations.

And as we mentioned before, it rains a lot in the springtime here in the Smoky Mountains. Don’t forget to bring some rain gear as well.

Rod Runs in Pigeon Forge
Classic cars and automobiles line the streets of Pigeon Forge during the spring Rod Run event (photo by Daniel Munson/

How busy is Gatlinburg in April? Crowd sizes in the Smokies

The busiest week in April will likely be during the Pigeon Forge Rod Run event. Traffic, especially on the weekend of the event and the days leading up to it, is usually nothing short of a nightmare.

We’ve even heard reports of a normally 30-minute commute from Pigeon Forge to Gatlinburg taking upwards of 2-3 hours.

Read Also: Watch two guys line dance in the road while stuck in Gatlinburg traffic

Unless you want to be in town for the car show, we strongly suggest picking a different weekend for your Smoky Mountain adventure.

Otherwise, April is a moderately busy month for the Smokies.

Typically speaking, January-February is the “slow” season. June, July and August are the busiest months before kids go back to school in September. Things usually pick back up again around November and December.

Traffic can be moderate to heavy at times, especially on the weekends and holidays.

Reservations are recommended where available.

The Easter bunny greets children in the Old Mill District (photo by Bill Burris/
The Easter bunny greets children in the Old Mill District (photo by Bill Burris/

Easter in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains

Easter will be another hoppin’ weekend in the Smokies this April (bunny joke).

Several area attractions usually host Easter-themed events like arts and crafts festivals, parades, special church services and Easter egg hunts.

Bookmark this page for all the latest updates as Easter events are announced.

Are you planning a trip to the Smokies in April? If so, let us know in the comments below.

If you’re a local attraction that would like to add an event to our calendar, please contact our editorial team.

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Kimberly Grayson

Kimberly Grayson is a freelance virtual assistant and public relations manager for LLC.

5 thoughts on “Smoky Mountains in April: Events in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge [2023]”

  1. Why weren’t dates given for the Rod Run? I guess I missed it.

    Is there a calendar with all the events each month?

  2. We are a big family group coming in April of 2023. It’s our favorite vacation spot. Just looking to see what’s new for us to do.

  3. Hi Staci! Downtown Flavortown is relatively new – SkyLand Ranch will be new and should be open by then. Also, Lumina Enchanted Night Walk at Anakeesta will be opening soon as well!

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