While visiting Loudon County, be sure one of your day excursions includes a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Loudon County’s Highway 321, recently designated as the Great Smoky Mountain Byway, is the most scenic and least congested route to the Smokies from I-75 and I-40 East, and is only 45 miles from Cades Cove, a 2500- acre valley in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You will find an abundance of trails for hikers of all experience levels as well as indoor and outdoor museums, bicycle trails, horseback riding, and picnic areas.
For beginners, try Rich Mountain Loop, in Cades Cove; Laurel Falls, near Townsend; or Schoolhouse Gap, near Townsend. Advanced hikers may want to tackle Gregory Bald, near Townsend; or Thunderhead Mountain, near Spence Field.