Parrot Mountain and Gardens in Pigeon Forge lives up to its name. The grounds are an amazing place to visit for people of all ages (no matter whether they start out as bird lovers or not), and guests will see something new every time they come. The grounds encompass four acres of green scenery in beautiful Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
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It is currently considered the biggest “eco-tourist” bird attraction in the entire Southeast United States. Even the Duggar's have visited and been inspired by not only the beauty but also the religious undertones that drive the staff to care for these birds. The attraction has been open since 2002 and highlights over 100 different species of birds, some of which even know how to talk!
Visitors, no matter how prepared, are always taken aback by the awe-inspiring beauty of the hundreds of unique tropical birds that live amongst the thousands of species plants, flowers, and trees.
Admission is required for access to the grounds. Full price is charged for adults and children older than 12, while a discounted admission is charged for seniors and children from 2 to 11. There are also group discounted rates available for groups that have more than 25 people. These groups must reserve time to visit in advance to receive the discount.
The first stop on the tour of the gardens is to notice the stone fence that has been dry stacked and extends for 200 feet. This fence, similar to those found in Ireland, is a reproduction of a fence found in “Stairway to Paradise,” a Thomas Kinkade painting.
Entering into the gardens, guests are led down landscaped pathways, lined with field stones that have been naturally harvested for the garden. These paths display one of the most popular parts of the attraction, the parrot cottages. Each cottage is made to be as unique as the parrot who lives in it. With a variety of different architectural roof styles, like clay tile, water reed, slate, and cedar shake, the cottages seem more like a miniature village than a collection of bird cages.
Also on display along the paths are other tropical birds that sit on perches in the open air. It is as close to many people come to see these types of creatures in nature! At the end of the pathway is a yellow door while welcomes visitors into the “secret” garden, where magpies, toucan, hornbills, and other birds are allowed to fly freely. On the other side of the garden are more birds. These birds can be fed by hand with seed that can be purchased from the garden.
Another favorite of guests is the bird nursery, where they are able to see baby birds being hatched and fed by hand. The majority of the birds located at Parrot Mountain have actually been born on the site. Guests who are interested can even purchase a bird and learn from the education aviary staff how to best take care of the new family member. It truly is a one of a kind adventure.
Field trips are more than welcome at the mountain and gardens. This is a great way to introduce students to birds in a hands-on and interactive educational way. Students are able to not only see but also touch the birds while learning about their distinct characteristics. The staff also seeks to educate students on the importance of preservation of these unique birds, as well as respecting them as the living creatures they are. Field trips with more than 25 students are required to reserve in advance, although discounted admission is provided regardless. One teacher is admitted free with each group, and additional adult admission can be purchased at a discount. Classes can also purchase a lunch from the grounds at an additional cost per student. This lunch will include either pizza or a hot dog with chips and a drink).
All field trips include an educational live bird show, a trip through the bird nursery, and a stop to hand feed the lorikeets nectar!
Dining and Shopping
There is a small deli located at the gardens with a variety of food options designed to please even the pickiest eater, like hot dogs, sandwiches, slices of pizza, and even soft serve ice cream, after filling bellies, make sure to check out the gift shop and pick up a book or a piece of apparel, all bird themed. Purchases go directly back into helping staff care for the birds. Consider picking up even something small like a magnet, as every little bit helps!
Parrot Mountain and Gardens, 1471 McCarter Hollow Road, Pigeon Forge, TN, 37862, Phone: 865-774-1749