The Townsend Historical Trail runs along both sides of US 321 through Townsend, TN. Called "The Peaceful Side of the Smokies," this is our favorite place to stay in the area. The 9-mile paved trail is a pleasant diversion and we saw many people biking and walking. The trail passes the visitor center, hotels, restaurants and historical sites. Markers along the trail and a Shadows of the Past brochure at the visitor center describe the history. (Detailed map and photos below.)
Townsend Historical Trail
Location: Townsend, TN (See map)
Distance: 9 miles
Nearby Points of Interest: Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, Little River Railroad Lumber Museum, Tuckaleechee Caverns, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The south side - starting at the parking lot closest to the National Park - is mostly away from the road for the first 3 miles, with some hills, twists and turns. Numerous motels on this side, watch for driveways and road crossings.
Cross the road to continue to the north path. The north side runs along the Little River, closer to the road, straight and flat. This side is mostly a wide sidewalk and is more commercial - watch for vehicles at driveways and cross streets.
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