Seniors Find The Peaceful Side Of The Smokies

unknown-1Senior travelers will find Townsend in Blount County  (pronounced “Blunt”) , Tennessee, in southeastern United States on the edge of the Smokie Mountains. “The Peaceful Side of the Smokies,”is Townsend, Tennessee, less than an hour’s drive south of Knoxville.

The population runs just over 250, however there are many local attractions that senior visitors can enjoy. Townsend is home to the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, the Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum and the new National Park Service Collections Preservation Center, which archives items from all of the national park units in the area. Tuckaleechee Caverns is a mile-long cave system that reaches depths of up to 150 feet, so be a spelunker and explore on your own.


Just to the north and west of Townsend, the Foothills Parkway is a national parkway that traverses Chilhowee Mountain and offers multiple scenic overlooks at high elevations, with views of the Smokies to the south and the Tennessee Valley and Cumberland Plateau to the north and west.

Seniors Arrive At A Gateway To The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Townsend is one of three “gateways” to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It has several museums and attractions relating to the natural and human history of the Great Smokies.  Townsend is loaded with scenic views and history galore.

Townsend has the least traffic of the three main entrances to the national park. Senior travelers find Townsend is low-key, with a handful of inexpensive restaurants and motels and several businesses geared toward outdoor sports, and a world-renowned horse show.

dsc_4354 Native Americans were the first inhabitants of Tuckaleechee Cove on the Little River; the oldest archaeological finds in the cove date to 2000 B.C. A number of pottery fragments and axe heads dating to the Woodland period have also been found. By 1200 A.D., Tuckaleechee’s Native American inhabitants had built a fortified village near the cove’s northern entrance.

 Senior’s Enjoy Townsend’s Old Timers Day

In the 1880s, the lumber industry experienced a boom, aided by two key innovations— the bandsaw and the logging railroad. Flatland forest resources in the Ohio Valley and along the Mississippi Delta were quickly exhausted by the high demand for wood as fuel for steamboats. Logging firms began turning to the untapped resources of more mountainous areas.


Today Townsend abounds in Festival and Events including Old Timers Day. Held in May, this is a favorite not only for he locals but drawing folks from all across the state and beyond. Some seniors enjoy researching in the local cemeteries.

The local Chamber of Commerce wants seniors to know that the Townsend area has an abundance of outdoor activities, accommodations, craft shops, and seasonal festivals, providing an ideal vacation getaway or retirement home site.  -jeb

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