Little Pigeon River (Tennessee)

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Little Pigeon River
Pigeon-forge-mill-dam-tn1.jpg
The mill dam of the Pigeon Forge Mill along the West Fork of the Little Pigeon River in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Location
CountryUnited States
StateTennessee
Physical characteristics
SourceMiddle Prong Little Pigeon River
 • locationbelow Mount Guyot in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
 • coordinates35°41′35″N 83°19′12″W / 35.69306°N 83.32000°W / 35.69306; -83.32000[1]
 • elevation3,028 ft (923 m)
2nd sourcePorters Creek
 • locationnear Charlies Bunion in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
 • coordinates35°38′50″N 83°21′47″W / 35.64722°N 83.36306°W / 35.64722; -83.36306[2]
 • elevation4,680 ft (1,430 m)
Source confluence 
 • locationGreenbrier Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
 • coordinates35°42′32″N 83°22′57″W / 35.70889°N 83.38250°W / 35.70889; -83.38250[3]
 • elevation1,654 ft (504 m)
MouthFrench Broad River
 • location
near Sevierville, Tennessee
 • coordinates
35°55′51″N 83°35′43″W / 35.93083°N 83.59528°W / 35.93083; -83.59528Coordinates: 35°55′51″N 83°35′43″W / 35.93083°N 83.59528°W / 35.93083; -83.59528[3]
 • elevation
860 ft (260 m)[3]
Length30 mi (48 km)[4]
Basin size373 sq mi (970 km2)[4]
Discharge 
 • locationSevierville, downstream from confluence with West Prong, 4.4 miles (7.1 km) above the mouth(mean for water years 1921–1981)[5]
 • average570 cu ft/s (16 m3/s)(mean for water years 1921–1981)[5]
 • minimum2.8 cu ft/s (0.079 m3/s)September 1925[5]
 • maximum55,000 cu ft/s (1,600 m3/s)February 1875[5]
Basin features
River systemTennesseeOhioMississippi

The Little Pigeon River is a river located entirely within Sevier County, Tennessee. It rises from a series of streams which flow together on the dividing ridge between the states of Tennessee and North Carolina, with most of the flow from inside the boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The river has three main forks or prongs, East, Middle, and West.

The East and Middle prongs are less notable divisions of the river, with the Middle Prong emerging from the Greenbrier area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and paralleled for most of its remaining length by State Route 416 up to its confluence with the East Fork near U.S. Route 411. The East Fork is the only division in which the main stem does not emerge from the national park, formed by a series of small streams in the foothills of English Mountain draining large portions of the Camp Hollow, Pearl Valley, Ball Hollow, and Jones Cove valleys and running along State Road 339. The Harrisburg Covered Bridge is a landmark structure from the 1800s that crosses the East Fork. The West Fork is far better known because it drains the major tourist towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. The Old Mill of Pigeon Forge, a working grist mill constructed in 1830 by Isaac Love on a milldam impoundment of the West Fork in downtown Pigeon Forge, is one of the best examples of 19th century hydropower technology, as well as being one of the most photographed mills in America. The confluence of the West and East forks is at Sevierville at Forks of the River. From there the stream continues to flow northward, paralleled by State Route 66, until its confluence with the French Broad River just downstream from Douglas Dam.

Despite its name, it is not a tributary of the nearby Pigeon River, which flows into the French Broad well above Douglas Dam and the resultant reservoir.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Middle Prong Little Pigeon River
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Porters Creek
  3. ^ a b c U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Little Pigeon River
  4. ^ a b J.A. Switzer, "The Water Powers of Tennessee," Tennessee State Geological Survey Bulletin 17 (1914), p. 51.
  5. ^ a b c d United States Geological Survey, Water Resources Data Tennessee: Water Year 1982, Water Data Report TN-82-1, p. 135.