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Local Activities


There are miles of country roads in the region around Townsend for exploring by bike. In addition, within Townsend there is an 5 mile paved bike and jogging trail along the river walk paralleling the Little River and US 321/ TN 73. The Townsend Visitors Center is on this trail.

The 11 mile Cades Cove loop road within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a favorite destination for bikers. This is a paved road with gentle slopes. It provides access to many hiking trails plus all the scenic attractions that make Cades Cove so popular: old log cabins, churches, an old grist mill, mountain streams, panoramic vistas, and many forms of wildlife.




The Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides a large number of hiking trails ranging from easy to primitive - offering enjoyment for everyone from novice to experienced backwoods hikers. Following is a list of a few of the trails in the area of the park nearest Townsend. This is not intended to be a complete trail list for the park. National Park trail guide books and maps may be purchased at the Townsend Visitors Center. Pets are not allowed on hiking trails in the national park.
Easy Trails

Abrams Falls
5 miles - Starts from the Cades Cove Loop Road
12 miles - From Abrams Creek Ranger station via Cooper Road - Little Bottoms Trail

Cucumber Gap 2.5 miles - Elkmont Gravel Road
2.5 miles to Cucumber Gap Trail on the right

Laurel Falls
2.5 miles
Laurel Falls starts at Fighting Creek Gap on Little River Road above Elkmont


Schoolhouse Gap Trail
4 miles
Starts at Laurel Creek Road on the right


West Prong
5.5 miles
Begins at Smoky Mountain Institute


Moderate Trails

Ace Gap Trail
11 miles
Starts at Rich Mountain Road

Chestnut Top
9 miles
Starts at Townsend Y

Gregory Bald
9 miles via the Gregory Bald Trail
Starting on Parsons Branch Road

Middle Prong
Begins at Smoky Mountain Institute

Rich Mountain Trail
4.5 miles
Starts at Rich Mountain Road

Russell Field
10 miles
Starts at Cades Cove picnic area


Strenuous Trails

Gregory Bald
11 miles via the Gregory Ridge Trail
Starts in the Cades Cove area

Spence Field
11 miles - Starts from the Cades Cove picnic area
14 miles - Starts off Laurel Creek Road via Lead Cove Trail and Bote Mountain Trail

14 miles
Starts Cades Cove picnic area - Spence Field Trail





Laurel Valley Golf Course, in Townsend, is an 18 hole course on some of the finest turf - with panoramic mountain views. Open 7 days a week.
Townsend Area Golf Courses - Non-Members Address
Laurel Valley Golf Course 702 Country Club Drive, Townsend





The Little River flowing through Townsend provides rainbow and brown trout fishing. The headwaters and tributaries of Little River rise in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and offer some of the finest and most beautiful trout water. Abrams Creek, an excellent fishery, is only 20 minutes from Townsend. Hiking trails afford access to many smaller streams for anglers who prefer solitude.

The Park covers 500,000 acres with peaks over 6,000 feet. The streams from these mountains provide 750 miles of fishable trout streams. Rainbow, brown and brook trout are the species that you will find in these clear streams. Stocking ceased in the 1970's in the Park so you will not be fishing for hatchery trout.

The following outdoor supply stores can assist you with your plans for fishing in the Smokies.

Townsend Area Outdoor Supply Stores - Non-Members Address
Little River Outfitters Highway 321, Townsend
The Backcountry 8453 State Hwy. 73, Townsend



Horse Riding


There are numerous stables in the Townsend area. Most offer horses for hire, some provide guided trail rides, and some provide boarding facilities if you bring your own horses.
Townsend Area Stables - Non-Members Address
Cade's Cove Riding Stables Cades Cove, Townsend
Davy Crockett Riding Stables, Inc. 505 Old Cades Cove Road, Townsend
Gilbertson's Lazy Horse Retreat 938 Schoolhouse Gap Road, Townsend
Pack's Stables P.O. Box 184, Townsend
Twin Valley B&B Horse Ranch 2848 Old Chilhowee Road, Walland, TN 37886


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