Blount County is one of the oldest counties in Tennessee and is home to about 120,000 people. The county offers a variety of geographic, economic and cultural features. More than 100 manufacturing plants do business in Blount County; some of the largest employers include the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA), Denso Manufacturing, Rubbermaid and Blount Memorial Hospital. Blount County is just south of Knox County and convenient to both downtown and west Knoxville. McGhee Tyson Airport serves as the main regional airport for East Tennessee and is also located within Blount County.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park resides partially in Blount County and spans its eastern border. The GSMNP is one of the nation’s most beloved parks and attracts about 10 million visitors a year. To the west, a series of man-made lakes created by the Tennessee Valley Authority provide ample opportunity for recreational boating, fishing and water sports all while delivering electric power to much of east Tennessee and the surrounding area. The Foothills Parkway bisects Blount County and allows for scenic travel off the beaten path.
Maryville is the county’s largest town and has many of the conveniences of a larger city with the slower pace of a small town. A seasonal farmers’ market, downtown boutique shopping and the annual Foothills Fall Festival foster that small-town feel and sense of community. Maryville boasts an extensive park and greenway system enjoyed by its residents, and Maryville College and the Clayton Center for the Arts attract young talent and cultural icons to the area.
Just east of Maryville, Townsend directly borders the Smoky Mountains and is known as a quieter alternative to the popular destinations of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Here you’ll find small craft shops and restaurants but no fast food joints or big box stores. Townsend is a popular place to rent a mountain cabin, relax on the banks of the Little River or take in an event like Old Timer’s Day, where visitors can learn about regional heritage, enjoy bluegrass music and attend a moonshine still demonstration.