Townsend, Tennessee

Townsend, Tennessee

Townsend, TN bills itself as “The Peaceful Side of the Smoky Mountains”. And true to its name, it does have a much slower and easier pace than its neighboring towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge TN. More important is its close proximity to Cades Cove. Townsend is the closest of the towns bordering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is the most visited part of the Park. In fact, Townsend’s Tuckaleechee Cove is rich in Appalachian history and heritage. Here the Little River gently descends from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park into this quiet community, and was a natural settlement area that has attracted and served as home to pioneers for hundreds of years. In fact, archaeological digs in the Townsend area have recently uncovered evidence of settlers dating back thousands of years. As early as the 1700’s, white settlers settled the areas of Townsend and nearby Cades Cove. Today, several museums and historic sites keep us connected with the past. In the early 1900’s, the Little River Railroad and Lumber Company ruled the area when they logged thousands of acres until 1928, when locals fostered the idea for creating a national park. The railroad museum that exists here today contains hundreds of photographs, well-restored railroad equipment and entertaining exhibits to interest the traveler. True railroad enthusiasts can enjoy viewing the preserved locomotives and logging equipment. For more info, contact the Townsend Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum at 865-448-3060. From Townsend, you are only 25 minutes to Dollywood and Pigeon Forge TN, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville. Start your visit at the Townsend Visitors Center. Call 865-448-6134...
5 Amazing Smoky Mountain History Facts You Won’t Believe

5 Amazing Smoky Mountain History Facts You Won’t Believe

How well do you know Smoky Mountain history? Read our favorite historical facts below to test your knowledge. You never know, some of these may surprise you! 1. The Smoky Mountains Are Among the Oldest in the World It is estimated the mountains in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are between 200 and 300 million years old. When you take into consideration the national park is only turning 100 in 2016, that is a lot of Smoky Mountain history we may never know about. The age of the mountains is determined by the amount of weathering the rocks have experienced. You can also partially tell the age by the particles found in the soil and the trees found on the mountains. 2. A Woman Was the First Settler to the Smoky Mountains One of the lesser known Smoky Mountain history facts is that the first settler to the area was a woman. Although William Ogle is credited for building the first home in the area, it was actually his wife, Martha Jane Huskey Ogle, who first moved here. William passed away before he could settle into the home with his wife and kids. 3. It Was the First National Park to be Partially Federally Funded As you know, entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is completely free for all visitors. The reason behind this is the fact that it was the first national park to ever be partially funded by the federal government. The stipulation came when Newfound Gap Road was built. Because it was the only way at the time to easily travel between the...
What Smoky Mountains Weather Should You Expect During Your Vacation?

What Smoky Mountains Weather Should You Expect During Your Vacation?

Here in the Smoky Mountains, we are very fortunate to maintain a comfortable temperament all year long. It never gets too cold during the winter nor does it get too hot during the summer. The Smoky Mountains weather always makes for a perfect vacation setting. However, each season does come with its own weather patterns and characteristics. To find out what kind of weather you should plan for during your next vacation to the area, read below! Winter Winters in the Smoky Mountains typically last from mid-November through February. During this time, the temperatures are generally moderate, but you can expect to find a couple of days of extreme weather. However, our extreme is not as much as you would expect to find in northern parts of the country. To put it into perspective, the average lows during the winter tend to stay around the low-50s in the lower elevations and the mid-30s in the higher elevations. Our average snowfall in the lower elevations stays around 7-8 inches a year, just enough for a snowball fight or to build a snowman. The higher elevations, like around Clingmans Dome, see a significantly higher snowfall in the winter with an average total of over 100” a year. Although this sounds like a lot, it really means you will be able to enjoy the beauty of the snowcapped mountains in the distance during your vacation, but it won’t affect your travel plans too much. Spring Once winter is ready to shed its heavy coat on the area, we are ready for spring and the beautiful wildflowers that come with it. This is...
3 Easy Ways You Can Identify Where Are Smoky Mountains

3 Easy Ways You Can Identify Where Are Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains are a majestic subrange of the Appalachian Mountains. Consisting of over 800 square miles, the mountain range is known for it’s majestic views, beautiful foliages, playful wildlife, and abundance of fun things to do. However, with so much land to account for, it may be hard to determine where are Smoky Mountains exactly. For example, where do the Appalachian Mountains stop and the Smokies begin? To help narrow down the location of our beloved mountain range, we have given you several resourced to use to identify where the Smoky Mountains are below. 1. Geography The Great Smoky Mountains cover a wide area. In fact, there is a total of 187,000 acres or land that make up the mountain range. That is quite a chunk of land along the Tennessee–North Carolina border! Along with being part of the Appalachian Mountain range, they also help form a section of the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province. Meaning, they are part of the Blue Ridge Mountain Range. These mountains release a high amount of an organic compound called isoprene into the air, which is where the fog and blueish tint of the mountains come from. If you are looking at a map, you can easily identify where are Smoky Mountains by circling the range of mountains that stretch from the Pigeon River in the northeast to the Little Tennessee River in the southwest. The Tuckasegee River and both the Soco Creek and Jonathan Creek roughly outline the southern and southeastern borders of the mountains respectively. 2. Elevation Geography is not the only way to identify where are Smoky Mountains. Elevation...
4 Things You Can Only Find At A Smoky Mountain Visitor Center

4 Things You Can Only Find At A Smoky Mountain Visitor Center

There are countless numbers of fun and exciting things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, starting with visiting a Smoky Mountain Visitor Center. From historical exhibits to unique programs, there is a ton of fun things to do here you cannot find anywhere else in the area. To discover all of our favorite things about visiting a Smoky Mountain Visitor Center, read below! 1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park Newsletter One of our favorite things you can find at a Smoky Mountain Visitor Center is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park newsletter. Issued in conjunction with the National Park Service, the Smokies Guide newsletter is an amazing way to stay up-to-date on park information and to discover fun and exciting things planned during your visit. This information can include tips about the wildlife, upcoming events or programs, historical tidbits, and more! The best part is, they are completely free to pick up! All you have to do is swing by your favorite Smoky Mountain Visitor Center and there they will be. 2. Unique Books About the Smoky Mountains In addition to the Smokies Guide newsletter, a trip to the Smoky Mountain Visitor Center is also the best place to find a variety of unique books all dedicated to the national park. Whether you want to learn a bit more about the park’s history, the people who once lived there, the intricate ecosystem, or anything else, you are sure to find a book to match these needs. Our favorite are the books that contain pictures of what the area once looked like. There is also a collection...
Wears Valley, Tennessee

Wears Valley, Tennessee

Wears Valley, also known as Wear Cove, is a beautiful, peaceful, long and relatively narrow valley that sits between the towns of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and Townsend TN. Its length runs next to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and also has a little-known entrance to the Park near Metcalf Bottoms, which consists of a picnic area that sits between the Little River and Little River Road. Little River Road runs parallel to the river on its way to Cades Cove loop road, the most visited part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Wears Valley has grown commercially over the past few years and now includes a fine selection of restaurants (including one gourmet restaurant), antiques, souvenier and gift shops. Lodging accommodations consist almost exclusively of smoky mountain cabin rentals (though there is one luxury bed and breakfast inn called Gracehill at the Townsend end of the valley) that range from the rustic to the ultimate luxury mountain cabins at The Preserve Resort – Tennessee Cabins. There are no stop lights in Wears Valley. From the last light in Pigeon Forge to the first light on the parkway in Townsend, you get a nice smooth ride, though traffic might slow a bit during the beautiful fall season when Wears Valley comes alive with brilliant color. One of the favorite appeals of Wears Valley is the fact that it lags a little in development behind its sister towns of Pigeon Forge and Townsend. The pace of life and commercial development is more reminiscent of Pigeon Forge TN way back in the 60s and early 70s. So, for those looking...