Camp Margaret Townsend: Wild women in the woods

A hand drawn map of Camp Margaret Townsend, which operated in Walker Valley from 1925 to 1959. Courtesy of Jeremy Lloyd.

I was perched one day on the stoop of my tiny apartment on the campus of Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont when an old woman walked up to me and said, “You’re sitting where my kitchen used to be.” I’ve had numerous encounters over the years with such individuals, each of whom spent time […]

Great Smokies

Welcome Center

Hours of Operation

(subject to change)

Open year round (closed December 25)

January - February

Open Daily 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

March - November

Open Daily 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Open Daily 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

The Great Smokies Welcome Center is located on U.S. 321 in Townsend, TN, 2 miles from the west entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors can get information about things to see and do in and around the national park and shop from a wide selection of books, gifts, and other Smokies merchandise. Daily, weekly, and annual parking tags for the national park are also available.

Physical Address

7929 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway Townsend TN 37882


865.436.7318 Ext 320