“The Peaceful Side of the Smokies”
Townsend is known as the Peaceful Side of the Smokies and though it might not have the hustle and bustle of the cities that are in Sevier County, it has plenty of exciting family adventure. Outdoor activities abound in Townsend along with plenty of history, plenty of great people and lots of down home fun. Tubing down the Little River and fishing for brown trout are just a couple of the things that brings people to Townsend each year.
Townsend started due to the logging industry and though the Cherokee had certainly been in the area for centuries (especially near Tuckaleechee), once the logging industry came to the area it was a completely different area. One of the first people to open a logging company was Colonel WB Townsend. Townsend logged areas that are now in the National Park such as Treemont and Elkmont. In fact the roads that you travel today follow the Lumber Companies Railroad lines that went into the forest to get the lumber to mill. With the development of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the lumber industry dried up.
With the lumber industry gone, the area did fall on hard times until visitors to the National Park begin to come to the area. Though Townsend has never achieved the huge amount of success as places like Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, the fact that it is the quickest way to get to Cades Cove means that people pass through the Blount County entrance to the park all the time.