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

Smoky Mountains in March
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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 March round-up of upcoming local events.

March is a big month here in the Smoky Mountains.

In March, we leave behind the cold February winter and begin seeing signs of springtime.

Wildflowers begin to bloom and wildlife becomes more active.

Dollywood reopens after its seasonal closure. Other attractions and shows follow suit with longer hours and more availability.

It’s truly a beautiful time of year.

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A sign at the entrance of Dollywood
Dollywood re-opens for the season in March (photo by Morgan Overholt/

Things to do in the Smoky Mountains in March

Our personal favorite March activities include attending Dollywood’s season opener (details below) and enjoying all the local St. Patrick’s Day-related festivities.

Car shows also usually begin to return to the Smokies throughout March and into April.

Adventure seekers will enjoy the return of abundant outdoor activities including hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, fishing at Douglas Lake, off-roading and horseback riding.

Read Also: Douglas Lake: Fish, swim, boat only a few miles from Gatlinburg TN

Popular hiking trails include Laurel Falls (a great choice if you love waterfalls), The Gatlinburg Trail, Trillium Gap (to Grotto Falls), Abrams Falls, Rainbow Falls Trail, Porter’s Creek Trail, Little River Trail and Ramsey Cascades Trail.

However Clingmans Dome, unfortunately, remains closed through April.

You can even plan a picnic at one of our popular picnic areas like Chimney Tops or Metcalf Bottoms.

Read Also: Picnic areas in the Smoky Mountains: The 4 best-kept secret spots

You might also experience a slight uptick in wildlife spotting – including turkey, deer and black bears – due to the warmer temperatures.

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

Scenic drives remain a popular option all year long as a way to see the mountains from the comfort of your car. Popular routes include Cades Cove Loop, Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Cherohala Skyway and Newfound Gap Road.

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.

The dancing fountain at The Island goes green for St. Patrick’s Day (photo by Bill Burris/

Weather in the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg in March

Here’s the good news for visitors wishing for warmer weather: High temperatures begin to peak in the low 60s throughout March (in the lower elevations).

And for visitors who wish to cling to chilly winter temperatures: Low temperatures are generally in the 30s (mostly at night and in the higher elevations).

In short, you’ll want to be prepared for anything.

What should you wear in the Smoky Mountains in March?

When packing, bring layers.

Cold-natured people will want to bring everything from a lightweight long sleeve shirt and long pants to heavy winter coats.

Warm-natured people might be able to sneak in a few tank tops or tees.

And don’t forget your rain poncho or a small umbrella – precipitation is common in the springtime.

Average rainfall in the month of March is usually about four inches.

Ripley's Aquarium in March
Several area attractions – including Ripley’s – get in on the St. Patrick’s Day act with festive decor and holiday-themed activities (photo by Bill Burris/

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

March isn’t the busiest month, but it’s also not the slowest.

The busiest season runs from June-August, with the second busiest time generally being the Christmas season, November-December.

Thanks to the reopening of popular attractions coupled with early spring breaks, crowds begin to trickle back in after a long cold winter.

Weekend crowds will be significant, especially during Dollywood’s opening.

St. Patrick’s Day in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains

St. Patrick’s Day is the big holiday in March in the Smokies.

Several area attractions put up festive decor and offer holiday-related activities including The Island in Pigeon Forge, Anakeesta, SkyLift Park, Ripley’s Aquarium and the Titanic Museum.

Drink specials are abundant, especially drink specials of the green variety.

As always, if you’re going to be in town during a big event – like a holiday or the Dollywood opener – you will want to plan ahead when making your vacation plans. Reserve lodging well in advance, make dinner reservations when available and give yourself a bit of extra travel time to account for traffic.

Are you planning a trip to the Smokies in March? 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.

Disclaimer: While we do our best to bring you the most up-to-date information, attractions or prices mentioned in this article may vary by season and are subject to change. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any mentioned business, and have not been reviewed or endorsed these entities. Contact us at [email protected] for questions or comments.

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

  1. Planning either first part of the month or middle looking for things to do with my 9 year old son

  2. Hi Minda – Mid-March might offer more things to do. Some attractions are still seasonally closed at the beginning of the month, but of course it depends on what you had in mind. Happy planning!

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