Feeling Great in Townsend!

Townsend Greenway

Enjoy a stroll along the Townsend Greenway

Townsend is widely referred to as the quiet side of the Smokies. The community is accessed via Highway 321 and is considered a gateway to the Cades Cove area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Surrounded by the mountains, the scenic beauty of this area is unparalleled in the region. If quiet evenings and a comfortable slow pace is your kind of getaway this may be your Smoky Mountain destination. You can easily access all the exciting things to do in action-packed Pigeon Forge with an approximately 15-mile drive through beautiful Wears Valley.

Things To Do in Townsend

  • The Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center is a must-stop for history buffs who want a sense of what life was like for the early European settlers. The Center regularly hosts a variety of special events and bluegrass music performances among others. They also offer special guided tours through Cades Cove.
  • The Little River Railroad & Lumber Company Museum is a great place to learn about the history of logging industry in the Smokies. It is hard to imagine with the dense forest that exists today, but the Little River Logging Company clear cut nearly fifty percent of what is now the National Park while helping to establish the tourism industry for the area.

If you would enjoy tubing on the river, Townsend is right up your alley. There are several outfitters who provide tubes and shuttle services for a fun and relaxing afternoon. Many riverside picnic tables are available if you feel like ice cream and want to enjoy the view. Or grab your fishing pole and drop a line in the river. Townsend is a low-key destination with a good selection of lodging and restaurants. Many miles of paved walking and biking trails parallel the highway for enthusiasts of all skill levels.

We are thrilled to be back in Townsend,” says Hank from Atlanta, Georgia,  “Cades Cove is our favorite destination in the Smokies and we are only seven miles away when we stay here!

Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum

Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum

Townsend History

The area is rich in cultural history going back thousands of years. The Cherokee Nation once claimed these lands as their own. In recent years an expansion of Highway 321 had to be put on hold with the discovery of a forgotten Cherokee village. Archeologists were brought in from the University of Tennessee to conduct the survey under exacting scientific conditions which afforded the discovery of many excellent artifacts, some of which are on display at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center.

For more information, or to order a Townsend Vacation Guide, contact the Smoky Mountain Tourist Development Authority at 800-525-6834.