Pigeon Forge to FW - what's the best route?

Discussion in 'Camping at Disney World' started by mickeyfan0805, May 29, 2018.

  1. mickeyfan0805

    mickeyfan0805 DIS Veteran

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    We will be driving from Pigeon Forge to the Fort in July and I'm starting to map out my routes and gas stops.

    There are two options I am considering. One takes I-40 west to I-75 and comes through Atlanta, the other comes east on I-40 to I-26 and down. The I-26 route has fewer miles (16) and avoids Atlanta, but it goes more directly through the mountains (which is worth considering with a 35' trailer). The I-75 route is a bit longer and includes Atlanta, but it avoids the mountains a bit more and I'm travelling on a Saturday, so it should mitigate a bit of the traffic.

    Anyone familiar with this routes have a recommendation?
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
  2. tiggerdad

    tiggerdad I don't always get distracted but whe...SQUIRREL!

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    I have plenty of experience traveling from Pigeon Forge down through Chattanooga on I-75 and depending on when you go through Chattanooga it can be a bear on traffic as well. If that route also takes you through Atlanta then you may very well have 2 traffic ordeals (granted, Chattanooga not nearly as bad as Atlanta but I swore a long time ago never to travel through Atlanta if at all possible again).

    Where in Pigeon Forge are you staying? The reason I ask is I used to live in Maryville (about 30 minutes from there) and the quickest, less traffic route from Pigeon Forge to I-75 is to take Wear's Valley Road over to Hwy 321 and take it West through Maryville and into Lenoir City where you will get on I-75. This is by far easier than going back over to Knoxville and down from there. There is a sharp turn on Wear's Valley Road, but the last time I was there this past July, they have expanded the curve and there is now much more room than there used to be.

    The mountains on I-40 aren't that bad, and actually will give some scenery as you go through them.
     
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  4. mickeyfan0805

    mickeyfan0805 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks Michael. We are staying right on the south end of Pigeon Forge at the KOA. Right now, I'm leaning towards the mountain route. We've never been over that way and a little scenery on a long day would be nice.
     
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  5. rocketmom

    rocketmom Earning My Ears

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    We have done the trip from Pigeon Forge to Fort Wilderness a couple of times. Both times we did the I40E/I26E/I95S route to avoid Atlanta. We were towing a travel trailer and the trip through the mountains was very easy. The first day we drove 6-7 hours to Hardeeville South Carolina and stayed at Lake Camp Jasper campground for the night. The next day was an easy drive to Disney. We towed the camper once through Atlanta and will never do it again if it can be avoided. STRESSFUL :car::drive:
     
  6. Teamubr

    Teamubr Formerly racing around the country.

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    If you've never done the I-26 to I-95, definitely give it a shot. I've done the drive on I-40 through Asheville a number of times. Very pretty AND you get to avoid Atlanta. I find the drive up and over Mont Eagle on I-24 more intimidating than I-40.

    j
     
  7. ChiefM

    ChiefM Mouseketeer

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    I would try to avoid going thru Atlanta if at all possible. Even the bypass around Atlanta is crazy since the big rigs can't go thru the city and everyone is speeding.
     
  8. bama_ed

    bama_ed It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney

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    When we lived in Atlanta in the 90s, even back then we referred to it as "flying low to the ground"....

    Bama Ed
     
  9. mickeyfan0805

    mickeyfan0805 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks everyone - sounds like a plan.
     
  10. ChiefM

    ChiefM Mouseketeer

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    I live outside of Rome GA and I have to travel from the Thorton Rd exit and go east on I-20 for about 5 miles to get to work. Thankful I work across the highway from 6 flags and don't have to go further into the city. They are supersonic flying low now.
     
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  11. Disneypeach

    Disneypeach Fan of the Fort

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    In Atlanta the speed of the cars is whatever the highway number is...for example:
    On I75 go at least 75 mph
    On I85 go at least 85mph
    And on I285..floor it...
     
  12. FFstreetDoc

    FFstreetDoc Earning My Ears

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    We have towed to PF from SC several times. I 40 is not bad at all other than slow moving 18 wheeler's. There are areas where we are not supposed to be in the left lane but I do use it to pass only. There is a trade off with the I-75 vs I-95 route. Atlanta can be a disaster no matter what time of say but Saturdays are not too bad other than the Gwinett area. If you take I-95 to I-4, Orlando traffic can be a beast as well. Add to that they have been experiencing eternal construction that involves very rough roads and lane shifts that make my wife bury her head in her lap lol.
     
  13. PaHunter

    PaHunter Photographer in need of training...

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    We have taken 26 over to I4, it is not too bad, the last time down they were widening 26 to 4 lanes. We have used the 95 to 528 route also, it is a toll road on 528 and was only 20 min longer, but it avoids I4 and most of the Orlando traffic. Just some options.
     
  14. Eyeeore

    Eyeeore Earning My Ears

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    We pull the reverse route when we head home from the winter. Coming into the Fort from Pigeon Forge, the I-40 East to I-26 isn't a bad tow at all. We have gone both ways on that bit of road. I-26 to I-95 is fairly good. You'll have traffic in Ashevill & Columbia but unless it's rush hour or a football game, it won't be too bad. Once you get on I-95, Camp Lake Jasper is a good place to land for the night.

    Once you head on south to Orlando via I-95, there is a bit of construction near Daytona but not bad. DO NOT go on I-4, that is at the very least a road to avoid. Go on south to FL 528 and then on around to FL 417, Both are toll but I'd pay twice the toll to avoid the I-4. FL 417 will take you to FL 526 which will put you into the main entrance.

    We came down from Daytona to Orlando and had a traffic issue. It took us 4+ hours to make it back to the Fort. Once you are on I-4, if something happens out there (and it will), you may well get routed off into town which is not exactly a place to pull a big RV.
     
  15. PaHunter

    PaHunter Photographer in need of training...

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    Coming back last trip I decided to try I4, there was a little rain falling and someone was in a hurry. Well with the road closed down for over 2.5 hours, I was glad we were towing our own bathroom. I probably could have made some money charging for it's use. We will head down to 528 the next time we head down and will come back that way also.
     
  16. jjbmk144

    jjbmk144 Earning My Ears

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    We live near Pigeon Forge and make the trek to WDW using the same route to I-75 that Tiggerdad described. We stay on I-75 through Atlanta. The beltway traffic is just as bad and seems to last longer. Our preparation for Atlanta traffic is to get a good early start and if possible go through on a Sunday or New Years Day while people are sleeping off the night before. We take the bypass around Macon and stay on I-75 until the Florida Turnpike. We take the Turnpike east until we're able to go south on SR535 (4 lane road). Entry into WDW is a piece of cake. Have a great time!
     
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  17. TheRustyScupper

    TheRustyScupper Be Yourself. Everyone else is already taken.

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    1) Drive South.
    2) If you end up in Salt Water and singing Jimmy Buffet tunes, you went too far.

    :cool1:
     
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  18. happycamper47

    happycamper47 Earning My Ears

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    But remember RV's can use the HOV lane legally, same rule applies 2 or more people. We never had an issue because of that.
     
  19. disneyfam23

    disneyfam23 Earning My Ears

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    Just FYI I75 between Atlanta and the FL line can often suck pretty bad too depending on wrecks/construction. I would take the mountain route if it were me. You either white knuckle around sharp turns or white knuckle through Atlanta! At least you get some nice scenery in the mtns.
     
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