Visit Blount County and the Smoky Mountains
Blount County, one of the oldest counties in Tennessee, was established in 1795 when the territorial legislature separated from Knox County. The county was named for William Blount, governor of the territory of the United States south of the Ohio River. It is situated in the eastern portion of Tennessee and borders the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Blount County is home to six incorporated cities – Alcoa, Friendsville, Louisville, Maryville, Rockford and Townsend. The county has more than 120,000 citizens.
- A convenient regional metropolitan airport, McGhee-Tyson, is located in Alcoa.
- Blount County's population is predominantly between the ages of 25 to 45.
- There are more than 25 miles of greenway trails in the community.
- Blount County covers an area of 584 square miles, an elevation of 989 feet above sea level and it's located near the geographic center of the eastern United States and is within 500 miles of approximately 50 percent of the U.S. population.
- Blount County is bordered on the east by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and on the west by the great chain of lakes created by the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the Little Tennessee River parallels the southern border.
- The County is served by several major highways: U.S. Highway 129, 411 and 321, as well as State Route I-140, 33 and 95, and State Highway 73 leading directly into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
- Blount County is governed by a county commission/county mayor form of government.
- There are three public school systems in Blount County. Several higher education facilities are in the area as well. Maryville College is a small liberal arts college located on 370 acres in Maryville. Pellissippi State is a community college that supports continuing education for Knox and Blount Counties. The University of Tennessee at Knoxville is located just 14 miles from Maryville.
- Blount County has more than 100 manufacturing plants. The largest employers are the Aluminum Company of America, Denso Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc and Blount Memorial Hospital.
- It is estimated that nearly 10 million people visit the Smoky Mountains each year, which is the highest visitation of any of the nation’s national parks.
- There is an abundance of outdoor recreation activities with five area lakes and areas to enjoy hiking, rock climbing, fly and bass fishing.
- The Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority provides visitor information to travelers at www.smokymountains.org.
- Blount County has a variety of space available for conferences, meetings and other business functions.
Townsend used to go by the name Tuckaleechee Cove. It acquired its present name when W. B. Townsend traveled from Pennsylvania to set up his sawmill in the community. He logged in the area for close to 40 years.
- This city of nearly 400 residents sits at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is known as the “Peaceful Side of the Smokies.”
- Tourism is the primary industry, and the city strives to maintain planning ordinances so peacefulness will not be destroyed.
- Townsend is home to more than a dozen hotels and motels, several bed and breakfasts, campgrounds and businesses that offer cabins and cottages.
- The city offers a variety of recreational opportunities including bike trails, the hiking trails in the National Park, golf, and swimming at a popular stretch of the Little River known as the Townsend “Y.”
Maryville was named in honor of William Blount’s wife, Mary Grainger Blount. It was established in 1790, but the first settlement of the area began in 1785 with settlers who came primarily from Virginia.
- The city is the county seat of Blount County and covers an area of 13 square miles.
- Parks are located throughout the city and include an eight-mile fitness and bike trail interwoven through downtown and designed to link Alcoa’s Springbrook Park and Maryville’s Sandy Spring Park.
Alcoa was incorporated in 1919. It was formerly known as North Maryville, but later was named Alcoa after the Aluminum Company of America.
- The city is located in northern Blount County and covers 9.67 square miles.
- Alcoa is governed by a city council and overseen by a city manager.
- The Knoxville metropolitan airport, McGhee-Tyson, is located in Alcoa. The location of the airport makes it convenient to Maryville, Townsend and Knoxville.
Louisville is located on the Tennessee River, which makes it a popular recreational area.
- In 1959, TVA made Louisville Point Park available to Blount County for recreational use.
- The James Gillespie House is located in Louisville and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house, built between 1800 and 1824, is known for it’s Federalist architecture and engineering.
Friendsville is located near Fort Loudon Dam. The backwaters provide an ideal area for outdoor recreation.
- Friendsville is home to Mister Station Store and People’s Bank of Friendsville, which are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places and are known for their architectural significance.