One thing that impressed me about Dollywood on my very first visit was the scenic landscape of the park. Dollywood isn’t simply 150-acres of metal and wooden rides on hot asphalt. This scenic theme park incorporates the natural rolling hills of the surrounding area and strives to welcome the natural beauty of Pigeon Forge inside the parks gates.
Here are three places to enjoy Dollywood’s Natural Attractions.
1. Throughout the Park
Dollywood is beautifully landscaped while retaining the natural beauty of the surrounding area. You’ll find great photo opps in front of floral displays full of annual varieties of flowers, but if you look at the landscaping along the walkways and throughout the park, you’ll see they feature many of the native plants you’ll find outside the Dollywood grounds. A creek even runs through the park where you’ll see the Mallard ducks waddling around.
2. Dollywood Express
The oldest attraction in the park, Dollywood Express also is a crowd favorite that appeals to park visitors of all ages. Young and old, and everyone in between, can sit back, relax and enjoy a ride on the authentic coal-fired steam engine.
The Dollywood Express may carry passengers through the heart of the park, but the train doesn’t stop there. The five-mile, 20-minute round trip ride takes you through the Great Smoky Mountain foothills that surround Dollywood for amazing views any time of year. The pastoral setting is especially scenic during the fall as the leaves change color but it doesn’t matter what time of the year you plan your trip, you won’t be disappointed. Close your eyes and listen to the whistle blow while the conductor takes you on a journey back in time.
3. Wings of America and Eagle Mountain Sanctuary
The Wings of America show teaches the audience about the Bald Eagle and other birds of prey. Your kids will hear fun facts to amaze their teachers and grandparents’ while viewing the impressive birds up close throughout the show. All of the birds of prey in the show are cared for by the American Eagle Foundation.
Wings of America is surrounded by the Eagle Mountain Sanctuary. Visitors can grab a bite to eat and dine at the tables shaded by the mountain while catching a glimpse of over a dozen majestic Bald Eagles in the enclosure. The 400,000 cubic foot compound, situated on the steep hillside, is the largest exhibit of non-releasable Bald Eagles in the United States. Viewers are available so visitors can get a closer look at the birds.
The mountain refuge contains five specific sections to serve the needs of the Eagles. You’ll see a section for birds without mates, three enclosures for nesting pairs to breed and a ground level enclosure for Eagles who are unable to fly due to injury, including amputated wings.
So, what’s your favorite natural attraction in Dollywood?