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Townsend, Tennessee

Townsend, TennesseeTownsend is part of Tuckaleechee Cove, a beautiful valley at the border of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The name comes from the Cherokee Indians and means "peaceful, green place".  Tuckaleechee Cove, like Cades Cove and Wear Cove, was formed ages ago when mountain building forces pushed older layers of rock (slate and sandstone) on top of younger layers of rock (limestone).  As time passed, weathering and erosion opened up the coves or "windows".  So, geologic processes produced the lovely mountain valleys we see today and over time yielded productive lands for wildlife and for human settlement.  To see the results of water flowing and dripping underground, visit Tuckaleechee Caverns.

Enjoy the wildlife and history of spectacular Cades Cove, in Great Smoky Mountains National Park!  Want to learn as you go, enjoy the scenery, and let someone else drive? For a fun and educational trip led by a knowledgeable guide in a comfortable, fuel efficient 19 passenger van, take the Cades Cove Heritage Tour, leaving from a parking area adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend.

Flowing out of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with headwaters above Elkmont, is the Little River.  Little River became famous far beyond the regional area in which it flows by playing a large part in railroads. There is a Little River Railroad and Lumber Museum located in Townsend dedicated to preserving the heritage and showcasing the innovations that came from the area. Since the forests of the Smokies are a wonderful watershed, the stream is clean, cold, and clear.  This means great opportunities for fishing, tubing, kayaking, and canoeing-or just splashing in the river!


Townsend, TennesseeAnother institution dedicated to educate and preserve Townsend's beautiful heritage and natural surroundings is The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center. Between gallery exhibits, educational programs and demonstrations there is always something happening at The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center. They are open seven days a week and are located under two miles from Highway 321, for detailed directions and hours of operation call 865-448-0044.

The Townsend area has lots of green space, where people can stroll or bicycle along the pathways and enjoy views of wooded hills, fields and well-kept homes and gardens on the side roads. A handi-capped accessible picnic area is located by the Little River at the western end of bicycle path. With a combination of open fields, forests, farms, and streams, Townsend, Tuckaleechee Cove, and surrounding areas are wonderful for bird watching.  Ducks, geese, and herons swim and wade in the Little River, colorful warblers and other songbirds migrate through the tress in spring and fall, and the Foothills Parkway is a hawk migration route.  Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is another excellent birding hotspot. 

Wildflowers abound in the Smokies!  From late February through the end of October, something is blooming--delicate blossoms of the forest floor, spectacular displays of azaleas, mountain laurel, and rhododendron, and the grand finale of the yellow, red, and purple blossoms of autumn. 

Calendar of Events

Music: Bluegrass, Old Time, Dulcimer, Celtic and more!

  Jam Sessions and performances at Rocky Branch Community Center on Friday nights
Bluegrass and more at Music Row in Maryville Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays.  
In the summertime, visit Wood-N-Strings Dulcimer Shop's "Pickin' Porch".



For more information about these and other events, please call the Townsend Visitors Center, (865)448-6134 or 800-525-6834.  

Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center events take place all year long here in Townsend.  Activities include quilt shows, concerts, cultural heritage programs, and festivals, plus their permanent exhibits of Native American and early settler history. 865-448-0044.


February 2014
7 - 8 Winter Heritage Festival - Enjoy this celebration of the human history, natural beauty, and cultural traditions of Townsend, Cades Cove, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The event involves many community groups and businesses and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
April 2014
11 - 12 Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival - a unique community event that takes place every spring. Enjoy classes, demonstrations, and vendors. 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center in Townsend, TN.
May 2014
2 - 3 Spring Festival and Old Timers Day - Join us for our springtime celebration of bluegrass music (concerts and jam sessions), clogging, arts and crafts, BBQ, Appalachian skills demonstrations, storytelling, wildflower walks, and the beauty of the Smokies in the springtime.
9 - 11 Blount British Car Club 27th Anniversary - This year's Gathering, our 27th, will be held in Townsend, Tennessee, on the grounds of the Talley Ho Inn. Blount British Cars, Ltd. hosts a British Car Gathering each spring. This year, however, we are partnering with the Knoxville English Auto Society and have opened the show to all makes of European classic cars as well as the traditional British cars we've featured before. Proceeds from the Gatherings are donated to various deserving local charities, selected by a special comittee. For more information, e-mail
16 - 17 Studebaker Car Gathering -Marvel at the classic styling of Studebakers at the Talley Ho Inn located in Townsend, TN.
23 - 24 Foothills Antique Tractor and Engine Show - located at the Townsend Visitor Center in Townsend, TN.
June 2014
19 - 21 F100 Truck Gathering - Marvel at Ford F100 Trucks 1948 through 1972 at the Talley Ho Inn in Townsend, TN.
July 2014
19 - 20 Jammin’ in Townsend - Knox Volks Motor Club, Knoxville’s premier Volkswagen Club event with an emphasis on VW knowledge, education, family, and fun! A weekend of fun and cool cars at the Talley Ho Inn in Townsend, TN. For more information, visit Summer Jam VW.
September 2014
18 - 20 True Blue Fall Ford Truck Festival - More than just a show! This is an event of True Blue Trucks Magazine. Enjoy family-friendly activities throughout the weekend. Located at Talley Ho Inn in Townsend, TN. Games and contests for children + organized sightseeing drives. There is no better way to have fun with your Bronco or Ford Truck!


Contact Us
3925 Nellie Street, Pigeon Forge, TN 37963



Our stay was just what we needed. As always Pigeon Forge was perfect, with all the outdoor activities like hiking and biking to spending our nights watching the great shows! We always feel like it's home away from home. Wish we could have stayed longer!

Ann Hazelwood - Macon, GA

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