Townsend: The Peaceful Side of the Smokies

Townsend, itself, is a great place to visit, to do business, or to live. It has many recreational and sight-seeing opportunities of its own - as well as being adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This enchanting community has an interesting history, and some fascinating local attractions. It is a part of historic and scenic Blount County, Tennessee - with easy access to Maryville, Alcoa, Knoxville, the University of Tennessee - in addition to the shops and shows of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the more commercialized areas of the Smokies.

The history of this mountain community can be experienced at the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center. Exhibitions, demonstrations and activities guide you on a journey through the rich cultural heritage of The Native Americans, the pioneers of this land, and much more!

Open year-round to the public, Wild Laurel offers an 18-hole golf course, well stocked pro shop, swimming pool, and banquet facilities. The whole family can enjoy the day in a beautiful mountain setting!

For the outdoors man there are also hunting and fishing opportunities available locally.

There is a wonderful variety of places to eat in Townsend, but if you're looking for a night on the town, you won't have to go far!

The famous Hard Rock Cafe has a fabulous location nestled in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Calhoun's Restaurant offers a "Taste of Tennessee" at their 4 locations in Knoxville, Lenoir City, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg.


Cool down in the summer months with a trip to the Little River. It runs straight from the mountains through Townsend providing a brisk escape from the heat.

You can take advantage of many swimming holes, including the local favorite, The "Y." Tubing, canoeing, and kayaking are other great ways of enjoying a summer afternoon.

The GSM National Park has more than 800 miles of hiking trails. There are trails for all skill levels from the beginner to the experienced backpacker who likes a bit of a challenge. These trails offer year-round opportunities to see a large variety of wildlife, flora, fauna, and beautiful scenery.

Auto touring has always been a favorite way to enjoy the park. The Foothills Parkway, Newfound Gap Road, Blue Ridge Parkway, The Cades Cove Loop, & Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail offer motorists a way to comfortably experience the beauty of the park in all seasons and nearly all weather.


Not far from the boundaries of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park lies miles of scenic secondary roads that are perfect for bicycling. Many of these routes pass local areas of interest such as panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains, white framed churches, and beautiful farmland. For biking in the park, The Cades Cove Loop (11mi) provides a wonderful opportunity for viewing wildlife and 19th century home sites.

Area Attractions & Distance Guide
McGhee Tyson (TYS) Airport 20.9 miles
Dollywood & Splash Country 19.8 miles
Ripley's Aquarium 22 miles
Tuckaleechee Caverns 2.9 miles
Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center 1 mile
Tail of the Dragon 25 miles
Foothills Carmike Cinema 18.7 Miles
Foothills Parkway 1 mile
Maryville, TN 16.8 miles
Gatlinburg, TN 22.2 miles
Pigeon Forge, TN 18 miles
Knoxville, TN 32.4 miles
Atlanta, GA 229 miles
Lexington, KY 202 miles
Nashville, TN 202 miles
Asheville, NC 112 miles
Jacksonville, FL 543 miles
Charleston, SC 369 miles