Townsend, TN Area Activities

While you are vacationing at the Highland Manor Inn, there are lots of things to see and do. Whether you like to go hiking, golfing, fishing, horse back riding, bicycling, canoeing, kayaking, river tubing, or touring, Townsend, TN and the Great Smoky Mountains have it all. Or just relax in our peaceful, hilltop setting where you can lay-out by the pool or enjoy the mountain view from your private balcony or terrace.

Bike Riding.
Bike Riding is a great way to view Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Cades Cove Loop Road is closed to cars on Wednesdays and Saturdays from sunrise to 10:00 AM throughout the summer, so that bikers and walkers may have the road to themselves. At other times, both vehicles and bicycles must share the road. Bikes and helmets are available for rent through the Cades Cove Campground Store or in the Townsend area at several locations. Bicycle companies offer tours in the area.

The Bike Trail in Townsend comes right by the Highland Manor Inn. The trail is almost 10 miles round trip utilizing any of the three tunnels that take you from the trail on the south side of the highway to the sidewalk on the north side.

Horse Back Riding. Horse back riding facilities are available in the Townsend area year round. There are 5 riding stables nearby. One in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and three in Townsend offer guided trails. The other offers open range riding accompanied by a guide.

Tubing /Kayaking. Tubing is available in the Townsend area. The Little River is a great tubing location. Tubes may be rented at many locations in Townsend. Kayaking is also popular on the Little River. Kayaks may be rented in the Townsend area as well.

Rafting. Rafting or tubing as we call it, is great fun and adventure in The Smokies. Townsend has some great tubing companies. Check out The River Rat at www.smokymtnriverrat.com or The River Rage at www.riverragetubing.com There is also a tubing company for Western North Carolina that is easy to get to from Townsend. Look for www.usaraft.com and Rafting In The Smokies are commercial rafting companies that offer a variety of rafting adventures. Contact any of these for great rafting fun!

Hiking. Hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to waterfalls, virgin timber, mountain streams, cascades & mountain tops with spectacular views. Hikes range from short, easy nature trails to multi-night trips. There are over 800 miles of hiking trails. Hiking maps and brochures are available at the Townsend Visitors Center. Abrams Falls Trail in Cades Cove and Laurel Falls Trail on Little River Road are two of the more popular trails for waterfall seekers.

Walking. “Shadows of the Past” is a 10-mile trail dipicting historical sites in beautiful Townsend, TN. The historic trail runs parallel with US Hwy 321 and is ideal for walking, biking, and hiking. The trail begins at the Townsend Visitors Center and mile marker signs designate historical sites. Brochures are available at the hotel office and at the Townsend Visitors Center.

Fishing. Fishing is permitted year-round in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but a Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license is required. Fishing permits may be purchased at many locations in Townsend. Park fishing regulations are available free of charge at any visitors center or ranger station.

Picnicking. Picnicking is enjoyed in the Cades Cove picnic area, complete with tables, grills, and restrooms or at other sites without picnic facilities. To reserve a pavillion, call (865) 448-2472.

Hayrides. Special Fall hayrides in October require advance reservations, which can be made by calling Cades Cove Stables in Townsend, (865) 448-6286.

Shopping. Townsend, TN offers a variety of shops that display items made by local artists. There are antique shops here and the usual T-shirt souvenir shops. There are at least four large outlet malls in nearby Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. Gatlinburg also is very commercialized and like Pigeon Forge is made for shoppers, and has lots of shops, but no outlet malls.

Arts & Crafts. Call (800) 525-6834 for a free copy of the Appalachian Arts & Crafts directory featuring our many talented artisans & craftspeople.

Other Activities. Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum features memorabilia and equipment from logging days in the Smokies. Open daily June thru August and in October; weekends April, May, and September. For more information, call (865) 448-2211 or visit the website at www.LittleRiverRailroad.org.

Tuckaleechee Caverns has guided tours of an underground cave noted for onyx formations. Open March 15 – November 15. For more information, call (865) 448-2274.

Golf

Egwani Farms                                                 The Golf Club
920 S. Singleton Station Rd.                            411 South  802 Lee Shirley Rd
Rockford, TN                                                    Maryville, TN
(865)-970-7132                                                 (865)-856-4400

Lambert Acres Golf Club                                Laurel Valley
3402 Tuckaleechee Pike                                702 Country Club Dr
Maryville, TN                                                   Townsend, TN
(865)-982-9838                                                (865)-738-3134

Pine Lakes                                                       Royal Oaks
4101 S. Singleton Station Rd.                         3705 Legends Way
Rockford, TN                                                   Maryville, TN
(865)-970-9018                                                (865)-984-4260

Bent Creek Golf Resort                                 Gatlinburg Golf Course
3919 E Parkway                                             520 Dollywood Lane, Traffic Light #8
Gatlinburg, TN                                                Pigeon Forge, TN
(865)-436-2875                                               (865)-453-3912

Great MotorCycle Rides 

Townsend is a great location for motorcycle enthusiasts to be able to ride beautiful roads in the Smoky Mountains and to experience excellent accommodations at the Highland Manor Inn. The Tail of the Dragon is probably the most famous ride in the  area and The Cherohala Skyway follows a close second, not to mention our own Little River Gorge.

Elkmont

Early Elkmont was a typical temporary logging camp. These camps bore a resemblance to later Depression-era shanty towns. Shanty houses (or “set off” houses), a post office, a transient hotel, a commissary, and sheds critical to railroad maintenance were the town’s only buildings. Many loggers lived in boarding houses, and some crossed Sugarland Mountain via a trail connecting Elkmont to the Sugarlands. As logging operations progressed, it became necessary to move the camp higher up the mountain slopes to the south. The company managed this by loading the shanties onto railroad flatcars and moving them to pre-constructed foundations using a logging crane. Although the logging camps moved, Elkmont remained the company’s primary base of operations in the upper Little River valley.

In 1926, Townsend sold most of his Little River Lumber tract to the newly created Great Smoky Mountains Park Commission, although he had been given permission to continue logging for most of the next decade. By the time the company ceased operations in 1939, it had produced 750 million board feet (1.8 million m³) of lumber. In the 1960s, the park service built the current campground over the site of the former logging town. Little remains from Elkmont’s logging period, although three of the later resort cottages (including the Addicks and Mayo cabins) are believed to have been modified Little River Lumber Company shanty houses.