Pokémon Go Takes Over Pigeon Forge

Pigeon Forge is teaming with Pokémon! Since the release of the hugely popular app, Pokémon Go, people have been excitedly scouring the streets, fields, and rivers for the lovable pocket monsters. The game has fostered an amazing outpouring of popular interest, and is even forging friendships between strangers!

As someone who spent his childhood playing the original Pokémon Red and Blue when it first came out in 1996, I was really excited to try out the new app. What I discovered was that the experience was even better than I imagined; not only could I catch Pokémon in the real world, but I started making new friends every time I ventured out to find more ‘mons to add to my team.

How does Pokémon Go Work?

To put it simply, Pokémon Go uses your phones GPS and clock to find where and when you are in the game and to make Pokémon appear around you on your phone. The more you walk, the more Pokémon appear, and depending on where you are (next to a river, at The Island) you’ll find different types of Pokémon. As you catch and train your Pokémon, you increase in level, which increases the strength and variety of the Pokémon you encounter.

Also part of the game are Pokestops and Gyms. Pokestops are landmarks in the real world where players can collect free items like Pokeballs, Revives, and Potions. You’ll also find a higher proportion of Pokémon at Pokestops, as well as rare Pokémon you wouldn’t see otherwise. There are also gyms, also found at certain real-world landmarks, which introduce a core component of traditional Pokémon gameplay: battles. Players can claim a gym and leave a strong Pokémon to defend it; challengers battle the gym leaders Pokémon for gym supremacy, and to gain the bragging rights of controlling a gym.

Pokemon Gyms and Pokestops in Pigeon Forge

Pokestops, viewed in the center, are found at landmarks throughout the city and offer free items and a higher chance to catch certain Pokemon. Gyms, viewed on the sides, offer a place where trainers can duke it out for control of Gyms.

There are also three different teams players can choose from once they reach level 5: Team Instinct (Yellow), Team Mystic (Blue), and Team Valor (Red). I personally chose Team Mystic, seeing as my favorite color is blue, but you can choose whatever team you like. Teams become important in the competition for gyms, as members of a team can work together to gain control and hold gyms.

Travelling to Be the Very Best

To find a wide variety of Pokémon, you have to get out and explore! This has always been a core component of the gameplay for the series, but Pokémon Go takes it to another level. As previously stated, you’ll find Pokémon matching to the geographic area you’re in. For instance, I caught a slew of the water type Pokémon, Magicarp, at the river that runs alongside the Chamber of Commerce, and was able to find a Magmar, a fire type Pokémon, lounging by the Sunsphere in Knoxville.

One of the coolest parts of the game is how it gets you to explore landmarks and areas you might have missed otherwise. Some of the Pokestops near the Chamber include the water fountain at the KOA Pigeon Forge / Gatlinburg, the Liberty Bell at Patriot Park, and the Pigeon Forge Canning Factory Historical Marker. We will have a growing list of exiting Pokestops and Gyms in Pigeon Forge at the end of this article.

Making Friends While Playing

The best part of playing Pokémon Go is the community element. Parents are getting out with their kids to search for them. People are meeting up at Pokestops and making friendships with people they’ve never met. As I mentioned earlier in the article, my personal journey to become a Pokémon Master have lead me to meet all kinds of interesting an awesome people.

One family I met couldn’t believe the impact it had already made on their vacation. “I never thought I would be doing this,” said Samantha, a mother of three young children whose family is vacationing in Pigeon Forge, “but it has been so much fun! We’ve really got to spend quality time with our kids while exploring parts of Pigeon Forge we’ve never seen before. It’s been a blast. Plus, we’ve met a lot of other families that are doing the same things, so that was nice to see.”

Pigeon Forge is Teaming with Pokémon

While some cities and small towns are a little barren, Pigeon Forge is full of Pokestops and Gyms! Just in the one-mile radius around the chamber, you can find more than 30 Pokestops and 4 Gyms, with several dozens more waiting to be discovered along the Parkway. That means you and your family have plenty of options to get free items, battle and train and gyms, and to find amazing rare Pokémon. In fact, while hunting right outside the chamber, I realized that a Moltres, a legendary Pokémon, was only a few hundred yards away! While I never encountered one, that doesn’t mean you won’t.

Pokemon Go in Pigeon Forge

While writing this article, I was able to capture a Dratini, an Eevee, and a Gloom right outside the Chamber of Commerce!

Another aspect of Pigeon Forge that is perfect for Pokémon Go players is the diverse landscape. Within a few minutes’ walk, visitors can be in a field, travel to a river, and check out an urban space. That means you’ll be seeing all different types of Pokémon! Also, since we are a mountainous region, you’ll also be seeing plenty of mountainous Pokémon, including Clefairy, Geodude, and the ever-popular fire-type starter, Charmander!

Just while writing this article, I’ve been able to catch a Dratini (the pre-evolution to my favorite Pokémon, Dragonite), Eevee, Gloom, Zubat, and a few Magicarp!

Staying Safe While Playing Pokémon Go

While playing Pokémon Go is a blast, several people have pointed out the potential dangers of people walking the streets with their noses in a phone. These concerns have prompted several police stations to issue safety suggestions to parents. One station that was slated as a Pokestop even went so far as to post on their Facebook Page reminding people that they didn’t have to enter the station to get free items or to capture Pokémon.

Stay aware of your surroundings while playing Pokemon GoWhile you’re out playing with your friends and family here are some tips to stay safe:

1. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times. Many kids make the mistake of thinking they have to stare at the screen the entire time their looking for Pokémon, leading them to be unaware of their surroundings. When a Pokémon appears while you’re walking, your phone will vibrate. So, keep your eyes ahead of you and enjoy the view as you explore.

2. Don’t trespass without permission! Players had no say in what locations became Pokestops and Gyms, and neither do the owners of that location! This has led to some funny circumstances, like a man’s house becoming a Pokémon Gym. Always remember to respect peoples’ property and privacy.

3. Just because a location is a Pokestop or gym, it doesn’t mean you have to go inside to capture Pokémon or receive free items. A good example of this is the Tanger Outlets in Pigeon Forge, which is a highly active Pokestop. By just standing in the vicinity of the Tanger Outlets, you’ll be able to catch Pokémon and get items. You don’t necessarily have to walk into a store just to capture a Mankey.

4. Always let people know where you’re going when you go out to play the game. Letting people know where you’re at helps keep you safe if something bad does happen.

Pokestops and Gyms in Pigeon Forge

So, you want to be the very best? The best there ever was? Well, like usual, we’re here to help with an ever-growing list of the Pokestops and Gyms you’ll find in Pigeon Forge! You can use this list to help manage your travels and Pokémon capturing expeditions. Did we miss a Pokestop? Be sure to let us know on Facebook as we continue to grow this list!

I’m still out and about mapping all the Pokestops and Gyms in Pigeon Forge! If you have either you want me to list, be sure to let us know on our Facebook page! Be sure to check back periodically as this list grows!

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