We stopped at Cumberland state park in Tenn last summer. I'm not sure where that is in relationship to Pigeon Forge but Cumberland is on of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. In the 30's the CCC's built an arched bridge/dam across the stream and it is breathtaking. The quiet lake reflects the arched dam like a mirror.
The state also runs a buffett overlooking the dam and lake. Outstanding food and view; dinner I think was 7 or 8 bucks, waitress wouldn't take a tip, state employee. My wife and I are seriously thinking of another coast to coast trip this summer from Oregon with Cumberland a planned stop, not an accidental one.
We stayed in Townsend Tn last fall when we were in the mountians. It is about 20 minutes to Pigeon Forge and much quieter. The quiet side of the mountian. Big River had large lots and even drive throughs but not a lot of shade. The mountianeer is where we stayed. Very nice people. Lots are small though. Not alot of activity in the town, there is tubing down the river and biking. A very nice quiet cozy area.
Cumberland State Park is in Townsend Tenn. which puts it on the west side of Knoxville at least 50 - 60 miles from Pigeon Forge. Nice area though as the previous post indicated. Another area you might consider would be around Newport Tenn. east on I-40 from Pigeon Forge about a half hours drive, or North of Knoxville around Lake Norris about a 45 minutes to an hour drive. But you are out of the hustle and bustle along with the higher rates of the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area.
My children live in Sevierville, right next to Pigeon Forge. We stay at Riverside Park which is at Hwy 66 and Boyd's Creek Road. Campground is on the Little Pigeon River. Some 50 or so sites are on the edge of the river. Also have pull thrus for big rigs. Price is less than $27.00 per night without discounts. If you have Good Sam's or something, it's less. We love it and it is 10 minutes to Pigeon Forge. In the summer months there is a lot of traffic but it moves fairly quickly. The biggest problem is finding parking in Pigeon Forge. We love the area. Have a great time there.
RV River Plantation is right off the main drag between Sevierville and Pigeon Forge. It is very easy to get into and out of. Very clean and neat park with numerous sites. It has many site along the Little Pigeon. I think we stayed a week at $26.00 per night after discounts and with tax included. Would definitely recommend it.
Back in June we stayed at Kings Holley Haven and loved it. There are some stream front sites. Not much shade in the inner sites but around the outter sites its well shaded. This is a rather new campground and trees have been planted so someday they will have shade. There are allot of reviews on campgrounds in that area at http://www.rvparkreviews.com
I'm sorry but I can't remember the exact name of the r v park, but it's like Eagles nest or Eagles roost, but it's just outside of town on Wear Valley Rd. DO NOT AND I DO REPEAT DO NOT STAY AT THIS PARK. The lady who manages the park is excessively rude. I email a letter of explination to the owner and never received an email or anything. I only repeat DO NOT STAY THERE. There are many nice camp grounds in the area and Pigeon Forge is a great place. I stay all of Oct. each year and I now stay at Fort Wear R V park on Wear Valley Rd. I think it has sold out to Clabos R V park this year, but I will be there next week for the month.