5 Things You Didn’t Know About the History of Wears Valley TN

Scenic Smoky Mountain view of meadow and trees
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Wears Valley TN is one of the most unique areas that the Smoky Mountains have to offer. Not only is this area known for its many quaint shops and restaurants, but it is also home to some of the most beautiful scenic views of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Nestled between the park’s boundaries and the hustle and bustle of everyday life in Pigeon Forge, Wears Valley TN has managed to remain one of the most relaxing areas guests can visit.

That being said, there are a few things that we at Visit My Smokies were surprised to find about the history of this beloved area. Which of these facts surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments below.

Area Originally Named “Crowson Cove”

Smoky Mountains in the fallBefore changing its name to honor the Revolutionary War veteran, Samuel Wear, the Wears Cove and Wears Valley area was known as Crowson Cove. The name came from the first settler of the area, Aaron Crowson, who moved to the area from North Carolina in 1792.

There is no exact reasoning cited about why the area changed it’s name from Crowson Cove to Wear Cove, however we do know that the transition occurred around 1900 after Samuel Wear built a fort near the entrance of the area near what is now known as Pigeon Forge TN.

Considered one of the most central locations for all the fun things to do in the Smoky Mountains

In Wears Valley TN, guests are just a short drive from all the fun and exciting things to do in the Smoky Mountains. This includes just a minute or two away from The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pigeon Forge, Townsend, and more.

By choosing to spend time in Wears Valley TN, guests are promised not only a peaceful and relaxing Smoky Mountain vacation, but they will also fall in love with how close they are to all their favorite Smoky Mountain attractions.

Nicknamed the “Jewel of the Smokies”

river in the Smoky MountainsTypically when you think about the area, your mind immediately goes to all the fun and exciting things to do in the Smoky Mountains. From the shows, to the amusement parks, to the attractions, there is always something new and exciting that is waiting to be discovered on the Parkway.

On the other hand, Wears Valley TN is more well-known for it’s peaceful pace and low-key entertainments. This does not mean that this area is without its excitement and adventure, but for guests looking to enjoy a relaxing Smoky Mountain vacation without all the high energy of downtown Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, we at Visit My Smokies highly recommend spending a few days in Wears Valley TN.

Classified as a “Limestone Window”

A limestone window is simply an area where, as a result of erosion, older layers of Precambrian sandstone have worn away to reveal a younger level of Paleozoic limestone. Limestone can be found throughout the Smoky Mountains in several coves and valleys, including Wear Cove, Cades Cove and Tuckaleechee Cove.

Thanks to the exposed limestone, the soil in these areas were particularly fertile, and it is believed that is what originally drew the early settlers to these areas.

Furthering the beliefs if the benefits of the limestone, many early settlers believed that the mountain springs found in Wears Valley TN actually contained health-resorting elements.

Home to a lot of conflict during the time of Civil War

Smoky Mountains fog in fallIt is no secret that the folks that lived in the Smoky Mountains tried to remain neutral during the Civil War. However, that does not mean that the area was without its share of conflict, especially the Wears Valley TN area.

Most of the conflict from this time came from issues with the Cherokee Indians that included a raid of Wears Valley in 1864.

After the war ended, Wears Valley TN returned to its peaceful nature, and even became home to one of the first small recreational areas in the Smoky Mountains thanks to a clear mountain spring that ran from the top of the Roundtop Mountain that boarded the cove.

Where is Wears Valley?

Now that we have told you a bit of the history of Wears Valley TN, you may be wondering where exactly it is located.

As we mentioned earlier, Wears Valley TN is just a short drive from both The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and downtown Pigeon Forge. Guests traveling from the Parkway in Pigeon Forge can easily access this area by traveling west on Wears Valley Road. Guests coming from the Townsend area can follow the same path, except you all will be traveling from the East.

For driving directions, please feel free to use the map below.

Interested to learn more about Wears Valley TN, and other areas in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Visit My Smokies invites guests to check out our Great Smoky Mountains National Park information tab on our website. There, you will find tons of information on all the fun and exciting things to do in the national park including hiking, fishing, camping, and more.


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