Loudon County is known for its million-dollar views of the Smokies and its convenient location in east Tennessee. It is a favorite spot for those traveling to the Smoky Mountains because of its easy access from Interstates I-75 and I-40 East. Now more than ever, it is a popular destination for travelers who want to enjoy wide open spaces and uncrowded activities.
Trails, Lakes and Links
For those who want to take to the water, Fort Loudoun Lake is a favorite. Many launch at Fort Loudon Marina (5200 City Park Drive, Lenoir City, Tennessee 37772), (transient slips are available) one of the largest marinas in Tennessee, or nearby Lenoir City Park (6707 City Park Drive, Lenoir City, Tennessee 37772). Both fishing and boating are popular pastimes and the views of the Smokies are unmatched. With 379 miles of shoreline and 14,600 acres to explore on Fort Loudoun Lake, along with easy access to nearby Tellico Lake, there’s a spot for everyone.
On land, scenic trails and public parks offer a variety of hiking options, all with beautiful views. The East Lakeshore Trail is a designated National Recreational Trail and is made up of nine sections along the eastern shore of Tellico Lake. For those who want to combine a hike with a day on the water, there are three boat landings with access to the trail. Land access is via nine available trail heads. Trail sections range from 1.5 to more than five miles in length. City parks in Lenoir City and Loudon also offer a variety of outdoor activities, including walking trails to explore.
Loudon County has long been popular with golfers as the courses here offer challenging rounds in an extraordinary landscape. Both public and semi-private courses offer golfers excellent quality golf along with a dose of Tennessee hospitality. Tellico Village (202 Chota Road, Loudon, Tennessee 37774) is home to three of the most challenging and beautiful courses in the Southeast. These world-class golf courses designed by Ault, Clark & Associates offer both member and guest rates. Rarity Bay (403 Rarity Bay Parkway, Vonore, Tennessee 37885) is a par-72, 18-hole scenic golf course designed by DJ DeVictor and Peter Langham. Its 150 acres of rolling hills has beautiful views of Tellico Lake and the Great Smoky Mountains.
The quaint downtowns of Loudon and Lenoir City have long been the heart of this destination and are great places to enjoy authentic small-town charm at your own pace. Whether you prefer shopping the specialty boutiques of Lenoir City or the antique shops of Loudon, you are sure to enjoy the journey and leave with a special find.
Two new attractions have added to the downtown offerings. The Stimpson Seashell Museum (406 Wharf Street, Loudon, Tennessee 37774) opened in July 2020. On display is the collection of local doctor Peter G. Stimpson, one the world’s largest seashell collections. He currently has 11 shells named after him and has one of the largest collections of world record size seashells.
The thrill of axe throwing has come to Lenoir City! East TN Axe Throwing (113 East Depot Street, Lenoir City, Tennessee 37771) offers seven throwing lanes in a family friendly environment. Online reservations are available, but walk-ins are welcome.
Take to the Road
Whether by car or motorcycle, Loudon County is the perfect spot to start an unforgettable road trip. Many make this their home base for day trips on the Mountain Survivor Trail, Cherohala Skyway and the famous Tail of the Dragon. Combining Loudon County’s outdoor adventures with a Smoky Mountain road trip is the perfect option to enjoy all the Lakeway to the Smokies has to offer.
Where to Eat
Carmichael Inn (600 Hackberry Street, Loudon, Tennessee 37774) offers Southern comfort food in a unique setting. Housed in an 1821 home, the Carmichael is a favorite for fried catfish, shrimp and grits or meatloaf. Patrons can dine on the front deck or in the historic dining room.
Sons of Smoke (304 Cedar Street, Loudon, Tennessee 37774) is a barbecue restaurant located in historic downtown Loudon. The menu features pulled pork, ribs, piggy potatoes, nachos and much more.
Calhoun’s (4550 City Park Drive, Lenoir City, Tennessee 37772) at Fort Loudon Marina is a great option for lunch or dinner. From casual burger lunches to evening meals with atmosphere, with its indoor and outdoor seating, Calhoun’s offers dockside dining with views of the marina and Fort Loudoun Lake.
Tellico Village Yacht Club (100 Sequoyah Road, Loudon, Tennessee 37774) is a popular spot for both its fare and atmosphere. The club’s Blue Heron Restaurant welcomes visitors in a private lakefront community and features a menu including steak and seafood specialties and more.
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