Townsend, Tennessee

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Townsend is a city in Blount County, Tennessee, in the southeastern United States. The population was 244 at the 2000 census. Townsend is one of three "gateways" to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the home of several museums and attractions relating to both the natural and human history of the Smoky Mountains.

Dubbing itself "the Peaceful Side of the Smokies," Townsend has the least traffic of the park's three main entrances. The park's other two entrances— one just south of Gatlinburg and the other just north of Cherokee— are home to multiple commercial attractions that draw millions of tourists each year. Townsend is more low-key, with a handful of inexpensive restaurants and motels, several businesses geared toward outdoor sports, and the world-renowned horse show.



Townsend is located at 35°40′32″N 83°45′18″W / 35.67556°N 83.755°W / 35.67556; -83.755 (35.675471, -83.755012)[3].

Townsend is situated in Tuckaleechee Cove, one of several "limestone windows" that dot the northern base of the Smokies. These windows form when erosional forces carry away the older rocks (mostly sandstone), exposing the younger rock below (i.e., limestone).[4] Limestone windows are normally flatter than other mountainous valleys, and are typically coated with rich, fertile soil. Other limestone windows in the area include Cades Cove, Wear Cove, and Jones Cove. Tuckaleechee Cove is situated between Bates Mountain to the north and Rich Mountain to the south, with the cove's greater population estimated at around 1,500. Little River, its source high in the mountains on the north slopes of Clingmans Dome,[5] slices east-to-west through Tuckaleechee and drains much of the cove. The city of Townsend dominates the eastern half of Tuckaleechee.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.9 square miles (2.4 km²), all of it land. As of 2004, annexation increased the size of the town considerably. Townsend is included in the Knoxville, Tennessee Metropolitan Statistical Area.

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