Townsend Chamber of Commerce The Townsend Chamber of Commerce
Townsend, Tennessee

Chartered 1992


Planning a trip to the Smokies most visited spot—Cades Cove? Need a quick reference for hiking and biking trails around Blount County? Two apps for either iPhone/iPad or Android devices will help guide you through this historic landmark along with maps of trails and paths for those on foot or two wheels.

The Blount Partnership makes a free driving tour mobile app available that provides a history of Cades Cove, GPS mapping, voice narration and historical photos to add to visitors’ experience as they explore the Cove. The companion hiking and biking app features trails in and around the National Park, including the Cades Cove Loop and the Maryville-Alcoa Trails. Also included is a listing of outfitters, GPS enabled maps, social media and web links to travel information

To download the apps, search “Cades Cove” and “Hiking and Biking the Smoky Mountains” in the Apple App Store or the Google Play store. There are also apps available for a vacation guide (search “Townsend, TN” ) and for a driving tour (search “Circle the Smokies” or “Townsend Driving Tour”).

There are four seasons of special events and festivals that showcase the natural and cultural heritage of Townsend, The Peaceful Side of the Smokies.

Two major annual events in Townsend are the Spring Festival and Old Timers Day, and the Fall Heritage Festival and Old Timers Day.   Both events are celebrations of the heritage of Townsend and the Great Smoky Mountains and are held at the Townsend Visitors Center.

For more information about these or other upcoming Townsend events, call the Townsend Visitors Center at 1-800-525-6834.

Townsend Spring Festival         Townsend Spring Festival

These festivals showcases mountain culture, including bluegrass music, Appalachian arts and crafts, wildflower and nature programs, storytelling and the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains. The majority of festival events take place on the grounds of the Townsend Visitors Center. Throughout the festivals, the visitors' center is the stage for several regional bluegrass bands. Cloggers demonstrate traditional dances as the bands pick and strum. Musicians are welcome to join the bluegrass jam sessions on the front and side porches of the visitors' center.

Townsend Spring Festival           Townsend Spring Festival

During these events artisans are featured in Appalachian arts and crafts demonstrations, storytellers bring the history of the mountains to life with their colorful narratives. Other attractions often include antique tractor and engine displays, kid's games, pie-eating contests, and various Appalachian demonstrations and arts and crafts displays.

The Spring Festival concludes with a Smokin' in the Smokies Bar-B-Que Contest and Old Timers Day.

Townsend Spring Festival

Festival Photographs by Keith Goodall, Townsend, Tennessee.
© 2001 - All rights reserved.


There are miles of country roads in the region around Townsend for exploring by bike. In addition, within Townsend there is an 5 mile paved bike and jogging trail along the river walk paralleling the Little River and US 321/ TN 73. The Townsend Visitors Center is on this trail.

The 11 mile Cades Cove loop road within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a favorite destination for bikers. This is a paved road with gentle slopes. It provides access to many hiking trails plus all the scenic attractions that make Cades Cove so popular: old log cabins, churches, an old grist mill, mountain streams, panoramic vistas, and many forms of wildlife.


The Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides a large number of hiking trails ranging from easy to primitive - offering enjoyment for everyone from novice to experienced backwoods hikers. Following is a list of a few of the trails in the area of the park nearest Townsend. This is not intended to be a complete trail list for the park. National Park trail guide books and maps may be purchased at the Townsend Visitors Center. Pets are not allowed on hiking trails in the national park.
Easy Trails

Abrams Falls
5 miles - Starts from the Cades Cove Loop Road
12 miles - From Abrams Creek Ranger station via Cooper Road - Little Bottoms Trail

Cucumber Gap
2.5 miles - Elkmont Gravel Road
2.5 miles to Cucumber Gap Trail on the right

Laurel Falls
2.5 miles
Laurel Falls starts at Fighting Creek Gap on Little River Road above Elkmont

Schoolhouse Gap Trail
4 miles
Starts at Laurel Creek Road on the right

West Prong
5.5 miles
Begins at Smoky Mountain Institute


Moderate Trails

Ace Gap Trail
11 miles
Starts at Rich Mountain Road

Chestnut Top
9 miles
Starts at Townsend Y

Gregory Bald
9 miles via the Gregory Bald Trail
Starting on Parsons Branch Road

Middle Prong
Begins at Smoky Mountain Institute

Rich Mountain Trail
4.5 miles
Starts at Rich Mountain Road

Russell Field
10 miles
Starts at Cades Cove picnic area


Strenuous Trails

Gregory Bald
11 miles via the Gregory Ridge Trail
Starts in the Cades Cove area

Spence Field
11 miles - Starts from the Cades Cove picnic area
14 miles - Starts off Laurel Creek Road via Lead Cove Trail and Bote Mountain Trail

14 miles
Starts Cades Cove picnic area - Spence Field Trail


Laurel Valley Resort, in Townsend, is an 18 hole course on some of the finest turf - with panoramic mountain views. Open 7 days a week.


The Little River flowing through Townsend provides rainbow and brown trout fishing. The headwaters and tributaries of Little River rise in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and offer some of the finest and most beautiful trout water. Abrams Creek, an excellent fishery, is only 20 minutes from Townsend. Hiking trails afford access to many smaller streams for anglers who prefer solitude.

The Park covers 500,000 acres with peaks over 6,000 feet. The streams from these mountains provide 750 miles of fishable trout streams. Rainbow, brown and brook trout are the species that you will find in these clear streams. Stocking ceased in the 1970's in the Park so you will not be fishing for hatchery trout.

There are several outdoor supply stores that can assist you with your plans for fishing in the Smokies.

Horse Riding

There are numerous stables in the Townsend area. Most offer horses for hire, some provide guided trail rides, and some provide boarding facilities if you bring your own horses.