Posted by Phil Rodgers in Pigeon Forge Attraction
If you've ever taken the scenic drive from Pigeon Forge to Wears Valley (or vice versa), you may have noticed something a little unusual just off Wears Valley Road. In fact, you may have seen live goats hanging out on the roof of one particular roadside business. If that's the case, don't worry; you weren't seeing things. That's just a typical day here at our unique Pigeon Forge attraction called, appropriately enough, Goats On The Roof of the Smokies.
For nearly 10 years now, Goats On The Roof has been offering Smoky Mountain visitors a multifaceted experience that entertains on multiple levels-literally. We'll discuss some of them a little later in this post, but for now, let's talk goats. Yes, those are real goats on top of our building, and yes, they spend much of their days grazing on the greenery growing on the roof of our family attraction.
The story behind the goats is an interesting one. The concept dates back some 40 years to a legendary restaurant called Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant, in Door County, Wisconsin. The family began letting goats graze on the sodded roof of their eatery in order to attract crowds. The unconventional marketing ploy paid off, and today, that Sister Bay restaurant is still going strong. (Their famous Swedish pancakes had something to do with that too.)
Thanks to a licensing agreement with that restaurant, Goats On The Roof in Pigeon Forge has had the opportunity to share that same fun concept with visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains. The cool thing about our location is that you can go up to the building's second level to get closer views of the goats, or, if you prefer, you can feed our guests with the assistance of our “goat cycle” device, which lets you transport cans of goat feed up to the roof. Watching our furry tenants chow down is fun for all ages and definitely makes for a great vacation photo opp.
But there's a whole lot more to enjoy at Goats On The Roof than just our namesake goats. We're also known for our Goat Coaster, an alpine-style coaster that measures nearly a mile in length and reaches speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. Guests as young as three years old who are at least 38 inches tall can ride with a driver who meets height and weight requirements. When you're in the driver's seat, you control the handbrake, so you can make the ride as thrilling or as tame as you can handle. Gravity does the rest of the work on your 4,875-foot journey from top to bottom.
Another popular activity you'll find at Goats On The Roof is gem mining. This is your chance to do some prospecting just like they did during the early days of the American West. You can purchase a bucket of gem-rich soil and then use our authentic water sluice to sift through the contents as you search for rare gems like rubies, sapphires and emeralds. It's a covered, open-air attraction that you can enjoy year 'round, rain or shine.
While you're at Goats On The Roof don't forget to swing through our Goat Store, where you'll find a wide array of souvenirs and other keepsakes to commemorate your visit to the Smokies (and GOTR). Our two-story, air-conditioned shop has a little bit of everything, from T-shirts and toys to novelty items and authentic, Amish-made woodcrafts. We also offer a tasty selection of edible goods like candies, hot sauces and jellies as well as homemade fudge and ice cream. You're always welcome to enjoy your treat out on our shaded front porch while you relax in one of our authentic Amish rocking chairs.
And did you know we also have a retail store located at 2631 Parkway in Pigeon Forge? You'll find a similar selection of retail and edible merchandise, and yes, we have goats there too. In fact, they're baby goats, and our guests never tire of interacting with them.