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Moving to Blount County? Here are 6 Communities to Consider

East Tennessee region offers a mix of communities to fit your style of living.

By Livability on September 22, 2021

family walking downtown

One of Tennessee’s oldest counties, Blount County is home to several distinct communities that offer residents a standout quality of life for those thinking about relocating to East Tennessee. If you’re looking for a taste of in-town, surburban or rural life, you can find it here. Ready to explore?

Maryville (Population: 31,907)

The county seat of Blount County, Maryville has a motto of “People are the Key.” Quality of life amenities include seven public parks, a dog park, a disc golf course and the Maryville-Alcoa Greenway. Among the major employers in Maryville are DENSO Manufacturing, Clayton Homes and Blount Memorial Hospital. Parents can enroll their children in Maryville City Schools, which Niche.com ranked No. 3 in the state, along with three private schools. The campus of the four-year Maryville College is just a short walk from Maryville’s charming downtown, a Tennessee Main Street community.

Alcoa (Population: 10,978)

Formerly known as North Maryville, Alcoa officially changed its name in 1919 to celebrate Alcoa Corp. establishing a large aluminum smelting plant in the community.

Today, the Great Smoky Mountains are visible to motorists traveling along Alcoa Highway, and the Little River flows through the eastern portion of the city. Residents have access to a roadway network that includes Interstate 140 and three state routes. Streets such as Bessemer, Darwin, Edison, Joule and Watt are named after famous scientists and inventors.

The Maryville-Alcoa Greenway connects Alcoa’s Springbrook Park with Maryville’s Bicentennial Greenbelt Park and is a popular spot for walkers, runners and cyclists. Residents have a number of eateries from which to choose, including Hot Rods 50’s Diner, a retro 1950s-style restaurant that features neon lights and pinball machines.

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Townsend (Population: 550)

Calling itself the “Peaceful Side of the Smokies,” Townsend is on the western side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and serves as one of the park’s main gateways. The city is a small bedroom community for workers commuting to other areas in Blount County or Knoxville.

Townsend has established a museum devoted to the human and natural history of the Smoky Mountains. The community is a popular destination for people visiting the Smokies or wanting to fish at the Little River. One of the city’s main thoroughfares is U.S. Highway 321, also known as Lamar Alexander Parkway, for the former U.S. senator and governor of Tennessee.

Friendsville (Population: 896)

Founded in the 1790s by North Carolina Quakers and still home to a Friends Meetinghouse, the Friendsville community was a stop on the Underground Railroad as a refuge for fugitive slaves as they made their way to free states and Canada.

Today, Friendsville houses the Blount County campus of Pellissippi State Community College, and Friendsville Elementary School provides K-5 education as part of Blount County Schools. The community also has two highly used boat launch facilities to access Fort Loudoun Lake.

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Louisville (Population: 4,384)

A quiet suburban town, Louisville is located along the northern border of Blount County and known as the home of Fort Loudoun Lake. The community’s proximity to the lake, the Great Smoky Mountains and the neighboring cities of Alcoa, Maryville, Knoxville and Oak Ridge give residents convenient access to the majority of work locales in the area.

The downtown district of Louisville is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 16-acre Louisville Point Park, located along the Tennessee River, includes picnic tables, a boat ramp, a swimming area and a playground.

Key roadways through the community are State Route 333 and State Route 334. The K-6 Middlesettlements Elementary is part of the Blount County Schools, and residents also have the choice of three private schools.

Rockford (Population: 822)

Rockford was named for a rocky river ford (shallow crossing) used by settlers in the early 1800s who wanted to cross the Little River to travel between Maryville and Knoxville.

Rockford incorporated as a city in 1972 to avoid being annexed by either Maryville or Alcoa, with those two cities growing at that time and looking to expand their land holdings.

Rockford now serves as a bedroom community for many people who commute to work in Knoxville. The community has one K-5 public school – Rockford Elementary – that is part of Blount County Schools.

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