A famous Pigeon Forge landmark, The Old Mill has been around since folks started visiting the Smokies. Built in the early 1800s, The Old Mill was once a source of survival for Pigeon Forge residents, but now is a beacon for both residents and locals alike. One of the most photographed mills in the country, The Old Mill offers guided tours of a grist mill and is also a destination for food, shopping, and sweet treats!
The water-powered grist mill sits along the banks of Little Pigeon River, one of the busiest areas in the town of Pigeon Forge. A large water wheel uses the flow of the water to turn flint granite stones weighing more than 4,500 pounds, allowing the mill to produce nearly 1,000 pounds of stone-ground grain every day! The power of this mill is incredible; in fact, the mill even generated electricity for the town until 1935!
It’s just one of the many important historic landmarks in the area that still plays an integral role in the day-to-day happenings of Pigeon Forge. If you love history, also be sure to tour the Titanic Museum Attraction, where you can use the boarding pass of an actual passenger or crew member to explore state rooms, the decks, or The Grand Staircase. You can also take a drive around the Cades Cove loop, which features lots of historic homes, churches, and more.
And be sure to take the short drive to neighboring Gatlinburg, where you’ll find the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community – a perfect blend of the history and culture the Smokies is so well known for. Around each corner in the Smokies, from restaurants and shops to art galleries and events, you’ll learn more about the rich history and culture of the mountains!
The Old Mill Square
The area surrounding the mill is now known as The Old Mill Square and offers just about everything you could want in a shopping and dining destination. More than 1 million guests per year visit the square to take pictures of the mill and waterfall, enjoy family style meals, and purchase unique pottery items. This family-friendly destination also offers fun events, from corn hole tournaments to brunch with the Easter Bunny!
Let’s begin with one of the most recognized areas of the square – The Old Mill Restaurant. Specializing in excellent Southern cuisine, the restaurant uses flour, breading, and other products straight from their grist mill. One of vacationers’ favorite dining destinations in Pigeon Forge, the restaurant serves up handmade classics such as country fried steak, chicken and dumplings, and fried catfish. You will love their signature corn chowder and homemade fritters – both Old Mill staples that keep people coming back time after time!
Another great Old Mill restaurant is the Pottery House Café and Grille. A finer dining experience, The Pottery House will wow you with its impressive décor. Plates, bowls, and even the bathroom counters were made by the hardworking hands of artists next door at Pigeon River Pottery! The Pottery House offers delicious signature quiches and fresh fruit plates complemented by cinnamon raisin pecan bread. Their artisan breads will make your mouth water, as will their super-fresh salads from the garden.
Want to take some goodies home to your Pigeon Forge cabin rental? No problem! The Old Mill Farmhouse Kitchen is your one-stop shop for anything you could need for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Take home one of their signature bread mixes, a bag of stone-ground flour, jams, jellies, or even their famous corn chowder. The Old Mill Farmhouse Kitchen also offers a special brand of pottery and bakeware. The friendly staff here is also great at creating gift baskets if you’d like to take a special present to someone back at home!
When you’re ready for a sweet treat after you’ve filled your belly, The Old Mill offers 2 excellent destinations for you to check out. The first is The Old Mill Creamery, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor that uses their own special mixes to create dozens of delicious flavors. The parlor even offers seasonal flavors and flavors of the month, including pumpkin ice cream in the fall and blackberry ice cream in the warm summer months!
You’ll even find unique flavors you won’t find other places, including Black Lantern Chocolate, Oat Mill Cream Pie, Gristmill Toffeegrind, Smoky Mountain Strawberry, The Breakup Bucket, and Whiskey Ribbon! Get them in a homemade waffle cone or bowl, or get them mixed up in a shake, malt or float.
The second dessert destination is The Old Mill Candy Kitchen, where confectioners craft up time-tested and new recipes. Using traditional methods such as copper kettles and hand dipping, you will delight in the variety of sweets they offer. From chocolate-covered cherries to caramel apples, fudges, brittles, and more, you can even purchase some of the items in their online store! Try some treats while you’re there, or get a bag of goodies to take back to your cabin in Pigeon Forge.
After your desserts, spend some time shopping at the stores that The Old Mill offers. Take the kids to the Toy Bin, a shop that offers new toys as well as favorites that your grandmother played with. Spinning tops, red wagons, kaleidoscopes, and rocking horses are in abundance here, as are stuffed animals of all shapes and sizes. Meanwhile, some of the adults can browse Sassafras, a boutique that offers jewelry, accessories, gifts, and much more. Here you can find the perfect pair of earrings for your evening out, a special gift for a friend back home, or even a new handbag for yourself!
The Old Mill has been a staple in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, for more than 150 years, and it’s here to stay! The square is constantly making renovations and adding new and exciting features to their stores and restaurants, allowing even long-time visitors something new to see every time. Stop by The Old Mill Square on your next Pigeon Forge vacation before returning home to your Pigeon Forge cabin rental. Whether you’re looking to book a honeymoon, anniversary trip, or a large family vacation, we have cabins of all size to accommodate!
If you love The Old Mill…
You can also stop by The Apple Barn Cider Mill & General Store, another favorite in Pigeon Forge. Besides a beautiful orchard, guests will find a wide selection of apple butter and jams, gifts, and mixes at the general store. And of course, fresh apple cider is always on hand. Grab a glass to enjoy while browsing or get a gallon to have in the cabin. You can even get their signature pancake and biscuit mixes, so you can whip up delicious breakfasts on mornings you don’t want to get out of the cabin!
At Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant and Applewood Farmhouse Grill, sit down for delicious home-cooked meals, complete with their apple fritters and their famous apple julep at breakfast. Fried chicken, sugar-cured ham, and bananas foster waffles are on the menu throughout the day, or you can browse around their store for some great gifts, get a scoop of ice cream, or pick up some old-fashioned candy before heading home.