gazebo and mountains

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 In Townsend

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 Townsend

Horseback riding facilities are available in the Townsend area March 1 through November 30. There are 2 riding stables nearby. One in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park located in Cades Cove and the Davy Crockett Riding stables in Townsend both are guided rides.


Tubing is a fun filled adventure that is enjoyed by many. The Little River flows right through Townsend and is perfect for tubing. Tubes may be rented at a couple of locations located here in Townsend, such as, The River Rat. Most of the tube rentals include a shuttle service. Additionally, please be sure not to get off tubes until you reach the designated pickup spot.
The Little River is a popular kayaking spot as well. Bring your kayak and enjoy a nice ride down the river.

Rafting In Townsend

Rafting In Townsend
If you are looking for a rafting adventure a short drive from Townsend in Erwin, Tn or Hartford, TN you can find USA Raft Adventure Resort and Rafting In The Smokies both companies offer a variety of rafting adventures from white water to scenic floats. Contact either of them for a great rafting adventure!

Hiking Smoky Mountains Near Townsend

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 Trail Townsend

“Shadows of the Past” is a 10-mile trail depicting 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 In Townsend, Smoky Mountains 

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. Visit Little River Outfitters for licenses, instruction, supplies, and even guided tours.

Picnicking In Cades Cove

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 In Townsend

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

Shopping In Townsend

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. Tanger Outlet Mall is located in nearby Pigeon Forge. Gatlinburg also is very commercialized and like Pigeon Forge is made for shoppers, and has lots of shops, but no outlet malls.

Arts & Crafts In Townsend

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

Other Activities In Townsend

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

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 Courses Near Townsend Tennessee

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                                Wild Laurel
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 Motor Cycle 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.


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.