Although our Wears Valley zipline course is conveniently located on the outskirts of Wears Valley and just a few miles from Pigeon Forge, we are also just a very short drive from Townsend, Tennessee and what is generally referred to as “the peaceful side of the Smokies.”
That’s because Townsend isn’t as highly developed as Sevierville, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and doesn’t have as much traffic. It’s more of a pure mountain experience for visitors interested in the national park and all the natural resources and outdoor recreational opportunities it has to offer. In fact, one of the most convenient entrances to the park is on the east end of Townsend, and from there you can access popular destinations like the “Y” swimming hole, Metcalf Bottoms picnic area, the Great Smokies Institute at Tremont and Cades Cove.
Townsend is also heavily steeped in the culture of the Smokies, offering an assortment of craft shops and attractions like a railroad museum. The Townsend Visitor Center also hosts many special events throughout the year that showcase the arts, crafts and folkways of the area’s settlers. And no trip to Townsend would be complete with a stop at the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center, where the history of the area’s native settlers and white pioneers is told in a series of hands-on exhibits.