Townsend, TN is known to many as simply being “The Peaceful Side of the Smoky Mountains” with its slower, easier pace compared to the hustle and bustle found in the neighboring towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN. More important is how close Townsend TN is to Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s the closest town to the area which makes it a popular destination for anyone wanting to experience the wildlife and great outdoors found in the Cades Cove area.
Townsend’s own Tuckaleechee Cove is also rich in Appalachian history and heritage. At Tuckaleechee, the Little River gently descends from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park into the quiet community. Because of the unique water source, it was a place that attracted and served as a home to pioneers for centuries before becoming the vacation destination it is today. In fact, archaeological digs in the Townsend area have even uncovered evidence of settlers dating back thousands of years. Dating as far back as the 1700s, settlers of European descent have made their way to the areas of Townsend and nearby Cades Cove.
The Little River Railroad and Lumber Company ruled the area in the early 1900s when thousands of acres were a part of logging expeditions. This went on until 1928, when the idea of preserving the area as a national park first came to light. The museum, located on the property, contains hundreds of photographs, preserved railroad equipment and entertaining exhibits to interest the traveler as well as any railroad enthusiast. You can enjoy the preserved locomotives and logging equipment throughout the museum and learn more about the history of the area.
If you’re looking to get connected to the past and experience the history of Cades Cove, Townsend is the place for you. The rich natural beauty of the surrounding Great Smoky Mountains National Park, paired with the history of Cades Cove, makes Townsend one of the best places to visit if you’re looking to get away and step into history. In Townsend, you’ll step foot into the quiet side of the Smokies, where you can experience more than just nature and hiking trails–you’ll truly be able to experience the lives of families who made the area their home before the creation of Townsend TN.
From Townsend, you are only about 25 minutes to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville where you can find all of the popular attractions, shows and restaurants. Whether you want to spend a day at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge or you’re looking to visit a museum in Gatlinburg, you’re just a few minutes away, so you’ll be close enough to the fun, but far enough away to enjoy the peace and quiet of the mountains.