Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Slow Down in the Smokies - Part 2 Townsend TN

Slow Down in the Smokies - Part 2

If you have not been to Townsend TN yet, you will definitely want to check it out -It's been labeled the "peaceful or quiet side of the Smokies"…

I love this sleepy little town !! Take Hwy 321/Wears Valley Rd away from Pigeon Forge. Travel down the mountain(about 6-7 miles from Wears Valley; 15 miles from PF), through several curves and as the road straightens out you will look over beautiful pasture land out to the mountain peaks beyond.

As you cross the bridge over the Little River to Townsend's only stoplight. You can rent tubes and float down the river in the hot summer or just try your hand at trout fishing(check with the local convenience stores in Townsend for fishing licenses).

At the stoplight in Townsend, if you turn left - you will be headed into the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and then on to Cades Cove. Also to the left, you will pass Smokin’ Joes BBQ restaurant - it sits on the Little River with a screened in porch for dining in the summer… GREAT ribs, BBQ and chicken....... Yum- and don't even get me started on the desserts ! Wonderful blackberry cobbler or the very special - pecan cobbler.

Just past here is the new Smoky Mountain Heritage Center The Center highlights the history of Native Americans and mountain life from periods 3000 B.C. (Native American) to 1930 (settlers).
The center is 17,000 sq feet on a 3-acre site and includes an additional 10 historic structures on site. The museum features displays of native artifacts showcasing the history of the Native Americans and many examples of pioneer artifacts such as tools and materials used in daily lives.

At the light in Townsend, if you turn right - there is a really nice local convenience/grocery store - The Village Market on the right - less than a mile.. They don't have a huge selection but do have a deli and bakery.. See the Townsend Visitor Center across the street....

There's a great walking or bicycle trail(wide sidewalk) all the way through Townsend across the street from the river. It is mostly flat with a few slightly rolling hills, you can rent bikes around town...

The Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum is just past the Village Market in Townsend....... It tells the story of the area's logging history with hundreds of photographs, restored equipment and interpretive exhibits.

Railroad buffs enjoy seeing one-of-a-kind locomotives and logging machinery and visiting with volunteer staffers rich with the knowledge of the old railroad's operations. In the early 1900's, a busy railroad operated in the Smoky Mountains, bringing tourists to the area and taking thousands of trees out. See the website for more info Little River Railroad

See Slow Down in the Smokies - Part 1