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 or 1-800-525-6834.