Set in picturesque Tuckaleechee Cove, along the winding banks of the Little River, Townsend and Walland, Tennessee provide an idyllic retreat from a hectic life. Plan your next break from the hustle and bustle of urban living by joining us in The Peaceful Side of the Smokies the Gateway to Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Originally settled by Native Americans, Townsend has had archaeological finds dating to 2000 B.C. Pottery and ax head fragments have been discovered which are from the Woodland period. The area remained home to Native Americans and by the 1600’s the cove was part of the home-place of the Cherokee Indians, who had a fortified entrance at the mouth of the cove. This rich history is told through artifacts on display at Townsend’s Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center.
In 1900, Colonel W.B. Townsend purchased a large parcel of virgin forest in the Smokies and established a logging operation in what is now The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He erected a band saw mill in Tuckaleechee Cove and lent his name to the town that formed in the vicinity of the Little River Lumber Company. Today, visitors to the area can relive the logging history of Townsend by touring Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum.
Modern-day Townsend, and its neighboring community of Walland, offer accommodations in the form of bed and breakfast inns, cabin rentals, campgrounds, hotels and motels. Dining opportunities provide restaurants ranging from down-home cooking to new-South cuisine. Outdoor activities such as horse-back riding, tubing and fly fishing on the Little River are at hand; shopping at arts and crafts shops, country stores and specialty boutiques are all within easy reach by car.
Positioned as a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Townsend and Walland are known as The Peaceful Side of the Smokies and The Gateway to Cades Cove (the most visited destination in the Park). Unique in history, both Native American and of early European settlers, Townsend and Walland retain the quaint charm of a bygone time, while offering all the modern-day conveniences anyone could desire on a vacation.