Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Maryville, TN, Our New Home Town

We are getting to know our new home town of Maryville.  This is not a “new” town to us.  We’ve been here numerous times over the past decades as we came for hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  About five years ago, Gene had a temporary work assignment in Knoxville and during that 9 month period we parked our 5th wheel and “lived” at a campground about 10 miles from Maryville.  Before that, way back in the stone age in the early 1950s, I lived in Maryville and my brother was born in Blount County Hospital.  I can’t go by that hospital without thinking of that.

We lived in this little house on Montvale.  This photo I made yesterday, but it is basically the same as I remember except the screened in side porch has been added.  I remember a few things from that time in my life, but most are associated with traumatic events.  We had our first puppy here, but all I remember is the day he was hit by a car on Montvale Road.  We got our first TV while living in this little house.  I remember this because it was during the time I had measles.  My folks got the TV so we could watch Wizard of Oz.  Now, as we move back to Maryville, I’m in the midst of reading Wicked.

Maryville is about 20 miles south of Knoxville.  Being south of Knoxville was a big factor in our decision to move here.  The main road which connects Maryville and Knoxville is I-140.  That is a quick and easy access to I-40 which leads west right into Nashville.  Avoiding Knoxville traffic on trips to visit family in Nashville is a real time and stress saver.

Maryville is a small town with a population of about 30,000.  It’s small, but large enough to have good groceries and restaurants.  It is also the county seat for Blount County making it convenient for those city and county government things.  The Knoxville Airport seems closer to Maryville than to Knoxville.  The Blount Hospital is only a few minutes away, but for major medical issues, University of Tennessee Medical Center is only about 30 minutes away.  Not only is the town small in population, it’s also small in area covering less than 20 square miles.  It seems like we can be anywhere we want to go in less than 5 miles.

Since we head out to the trail several days a week, being close to good hiking was a big factor in our decision for a place to live.  Maryville is about as close to the National Park as you can get without living in one of the gateway communities like Gatlinburg, Townsend, or Pigeon Forge.  We are only a 30 minute drive from our home to the Townsend entrance to the Park.  We are closer than that to Look Rock, but there isn’t much over there and fairly difficult to get to.  However, we can actually see the tower at Look Rock from the street which leads into our subdivision.  We are so close as the crow flies, in fact, that our subdivision is on the National Geographic Trails Illustrated map of the Smokies.

In the scheme of things, Maryville is not that far from other great hiking areas.  By taking I-140 into Knoxville and heading east Asheville, NC and Pisgah National Forest are only a couple hours away.  By picking up the Blue Ridge Parkway either off I-40 in Waynesville, NC or from the Cherokee side of the Smokies, Shining Rocks area is also only a couple hours away.  The Roane Highlands are also within easy reach as are Mt Mitchell in NC and Grayson Highlands in southern Virginia.  The mountains of north Georgia are not that far away either.  There is certainly hiking to be done in the southern Appalachian Mountains.

So, we’re very happy with our new home town and expect to enjoy many years in the neighborhood.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for tagging along.


  1. I'm going to try to head towards Maryville tomorrow to try to avoid Pigeon Forge. Want to visit Cades Cove. Don't know if that's a good idea or not on July 4th.

  2. Your new home town sounds like it is in an ideal location.

  3. It sounds like the perfect place for you and Gene to settle in. It's also nice that it has a warm fuzzy feeling of the past for you. We are very happy for you guys! Happy 4th.