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View Full Version : Best Way Into Townsend From Knoxville?


whitefeather
03-11-2011, 06:58 PM
I am planning on coming down for my spring trout outing about the third week of April. I was wandering about the best/shortest way vs. the best/less incline way from Knoxville, I-275.

My inclination after looking at Google maps is to take I-275/640 to 66 down to 441 at Sevierville. Then down to 321 before Pigeon Forge to Wears Valley and pick up 73 into Townsend. That is the route I am most familiar with, except for 321 to Wear Valley. Don't know about the "hills" in that area. I will be pulling a travel trailer.

Or would it be better/shorter/less incline to take 71/441 from Knoxville to Seymour and then take 441/35 down to Maryville and then 321/73 into Townsend. I have never been this route. Don't know about availability of fuel stops and nothing about the lay of the land. (mountains to climb with the vehicle).

From there I am going into the park on Old 73 to Elkmont campground. Locals! Please advise!

tennswede
03-11-2011, 07:04 PM
I would stay away from anything that is even remotely close to 66 and Sevierville, especially with a trailer. If you need to get to Elkmont with at trailer. Just go Alcoa Hwy US 129 through Maryville on to Townsend. Then of course go Little River rd, since you can't pull much the back way in to Metcalf.

whitefeather
03-11-2011, 07:20 PM
I would stay away from anything that is even remotely close to 66 and Sevierville, especially with a trailer. If you need to get to Elkmont with at trailer. Just go Alcoa Hwy US 129 through Maryville on to Townsend. Then of course go Little River rd, since you can't pull much the back way in to Metcalf.

Hans,

Are you referring to the traffic in that area or the hills?

I know about the traffic during the day and spring break is always a pain.

That's why I always go through at 2:00AM, but I've never pulled a trailer through there so I probably didn't notice any steep inclines if that's the case.

tennswede
03-11-2011, 07:31 PM
I was referring to traffic. If you are coming through at 2 am that point is moot. Anyway, if you are coming from interstate 275 going south I see no reason to go the directions you are suggesting. Longer travel time and more hills. If I were you. take US 129 also known as Alcoa Highway, past the airport through Maryville and then on in to Townsend.

ahighlan
03-11-2011, 07:33 PM
I usually go to Knoxville, past McGee Tyson Airport/Alcoa, Maryville, and then Townsend. Traffic is generally pretty easy past Knoxville. At 2am that might be a moot point. I think it is about an hour from Knoxville to Townsend, but locals can give you a better estimate. I can't think of any hills that would give you trouble.

ahighlan
03-11-2011, 07:36 PM
Beat by two minutes....;)

wizard
03-11-2011, 07:40 PM
listen to the advice. i live in townsend... road through wears valley is a nightmare, WITHOUT a trailer. lots of SHARP curves and it's up and down. go into maryville, take 321/lamar alexander straight into townsend. logic?: i LIVE in townsend....

steamnsteel
03-11-2011, 07:45 PM
I usually go to Knoxville, past McGee Tyson Airport/Alcoa, Maryville, and then Townsend. Traffic is generally pretty easy past Knoxville. At 2am that might be a moot point. I think it is about an hour from Knoxville to Townsend, but locals can give you a better estimate. I can't think of any hills that would give you trouble.

This is the fastest easiest way to Townsend from Knoxville, just like Hans aslo said. I would be wary of my speed coming through M'ville, the local police do like to hide in wide open places. This is overall an easy drive with some long broad curves, by going to Pigeon Forge and cutting over Wears Valley you are adding distance and time if Townsend is your first goal for arrival.

whitefeather
03-11-2011, 08:10 PM
Thanks guys,

That is just the advice I was looking for. I didn't know about the route from Sevierville so that is why I asked the expert locals.

No excess speed here, I can barely stay at the low end of the speed limit! LOL!

Taking your advice Hans, thanks so much!

Thanks again everyone!

Crockett,

Give me a repeater frequency and I'll give you a call when I roll through Maryville!

Troutman
03-11-2011, 10:08 PM
I pull a 22 ft camper to Elkmont 2-3 times a year. I've lived here other than 4 years away for military service, my whole life. Why would you want to go through w. Knoxville then pell. pkway to alcoa, then maryville to Townsend and then have to drive the little river road which is very narrow and winding for what is it?, 18 miles or so back over to Sugarlands to fill up your water tank, and then back another 6 miles to Elkmont. I drive through Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, on up to the gatllinburg bypass and straight into Sugarlands to fill up water and then the 6 miles over to Elkmont for Spring break every year. Not much traffic this time of year. I work in Sevierville and go to PF , and gatlinburg all the time. 3 lanes of level to grad. slopes then 2 lanes easy driving on the spur then the bypass that is not that bad. I pull it with a 1/2 ton pickup with a small v-8. It will gear down pulling up the bypass but maintains a steady 30-35mph. I gear down coming down it to save the brakes. Your biggest headache will be coming off 40 east onto 66 at exit 407. road construction and only 2 lanes each directon into sevierville but if your coming in very early or late its no big deal.
Myself, I would not want to pull a camper, unless it's a popup on LR road. Too many curves with a rock cliff 2 ft off the edge of the pavement and no shoulder. I've met alot of cars riding the middle of the road around the curves on that stretch.
lots of places to stop for gas and groceries in Sevierville and PF.

tennswede
03-11-2011, 10:21 PM
I was under the assumption he is coming in on 275. Not 75. He is coming from n going s. No need to go through any pellissippi or w. knox for that matter. I told him that my recommendation is 275 to US 129 which is Alcoa hwy. I am not advocating any west knox or pellissippi.

Troutman
03-11-2011, 10:34 PM
my mistake Hans. I would take 640 east off of 75 south instead of getting on 275 south. I would bypass Knoxville all together. with the closure of henley street bridge, there is a lot more traffic on alcoa highway these days, but at 2am like you said , it is moot. I mainly would avoid driving the LR road with a travel trailer. so many people are busy looking at the river instead of the road in that section.

David Knapp
03-11-2011, 10:39 PM
so many people are busy looking at the river instead of the road in that section.

Thats so true...I've had so many people come around curves well into my lane over the years that its a wonder I haven't been in an accident there yet...:frown:

whitefeather
03-11-2011, 11:21 PM
Troutman,

I am coming in off of 75 to a very short section of 275/640 (that's what they called it) to I-40/66, exit 407, (Winnfield Dunn Parkway) heading for Sevierville. That's my usual route but very early in the morning, before the traffic gets bad. I didn't know about spring break traffic or if spring break even extends into the the third week of April. Thanks for the info on the road construction, also!

I was going to go through Townsend first, but since I have to get water at Sugarlands, I might as well take my old route. I can drive to Townsend after I get setup at a campsite.

I didn't know about the stretch of Little River Road you described with the drop offs. Thanks! Don't need no cliff hangers!

Hans and others,

Sorry about the confusion. My fault! That short, dog leg, whirlygig, interchange off of 75S to I-40 east has always confused me as it is called "I-275/640" on the map directions. I call it mal-functon junction, because it always gives me pause.

Thanks for trying to steer me in the right direction, though. I'll have to go through Maryville some other time.

Troutman
03-12-2011, 12:41 AM
Its kind of hard to judge spring break traffic because it varies from week to week. Knox and Blount co school systems spring breaks are in march this year and sevier co schools are not till April 25-29. The other thing you may see is the end of the Pigeon Forge Grand Rod Run which is from April 14-17. There may be more traffic leaving town on monday the 18th, but shouldn't be too bad coming into town. Friday afternoons and Sunday afternoons are usually the worst for traffic. I believe the Walmart super center in Sevierville is open 24hrs if you go through town middle of the night and need groceries or supplies. I know they carry a large supply of RV stuff also.

whitefeather
03-12-2011, 10:35 AM
Troutman,

Thanks for the additional information! I guess I'll just "wing it" as far the spring break traffic goes. My plans now are to come through in the "middle" of the week to avoid as much of it as possible, I think. Best laid plans of mice and men and all that.

Anyway, my tolerance for traffic, delays, and some sudden strange situation goes way up when I anticipate going trout fishing. And that's a good thing for me.

We try to stock up the trailer so we don't have to pull off for anything but fuel and rest stops, but it's good to know about the places in Sevierville just in case.

Thanks!

Anyone else who happens to be down on the LR or Elkmont during the third week of April, stop by and say howdy. I sure would like to meet some of you folks and maybe chat and fish a little.

I have a white Sprinter TT, with multicolored pin stripes on it and will have my and my wife's amateur radio call sign license plates (Indiana) on the front of the trailer. K9REH and KC9IPI. It will have a tall vertical antenna on the front of it also.

If I'm not there, I will down on LR fishing. I'll have a "Dirty Harry" .44 magnum on my hip for bears! Just kidding! Just kidding! At my age, that thing would take my arm off if I fired it.

Don't do much hiking these days because I can't get the wife to go with me. But I would happy to do some with others if possible. I miss a lot of the landscape in the park because I'm so focused on the water. I just can't get down there enough. I'm going to try to get a spot close to the river somewhere in Section A thru F that allows generator use.

Hope to see some of you down there!

tennswede
03-13-2011, 11:31 AM
my mistake Hans. I would take 640 east off of 75 south instead of getting on 275 south. I would bypass Knoxville all together. with the closure of henley street bridge, there is a lot more traffic on alcoa highway these days, but at 2am like you said , it is moot. I mainly would avoid driving the LR road with a travel trailer. so many people are busy looking at the river instead of the road in that section.

No problem, I was just making sure we steered him in the right direction.