The city of Loudon is an ideal base to explore everything that this beautiful county -which is often referred to as the Lakeway to the Smokies – has to offer, including the historic Fort Loudon, Tellico Reservation, Watts Bar and Melton Hill Lakes, golf courses, museums dedicated to local heritage and wineries. The state park is also a popular attraction for boating, fishing, hiking and many other outdoor activities, especially during the summer months.
Many visitors to the area come to see the reconstructed Fort Loudon which provides a comprehensive insight into the early days of what has developed into the city of Loudon today with an interpretive center and recreation area. The Siege of Fort Loudoun played an important part during the Anglo-Cherokee War that lasted several months during the year 1760 and this national landmark now has newly re-constructed barracks added. This is located in Fort Loudoun State Park which is also home to the Tellico Blockhouse archaeological site which came to prominence in 1970s when the original foundations and a number of artifacts were discovered when the University of Tennessee conducted excavations there. Built directly across the water from the fort, it originally served as an early American outpost on the banks of the Little Tennessee River which was established in 1794 with the purpose of keeping peace between early colonial settlers and the Native American Indian tribes. It was in operation until 1807 and various historical treaties were negotiated here but it was also used for official liaisons between the US government and the Cherokee and Chickamauga people. Some of the nearby land sold off during these negotiations eventually became what is now the Tellico Village community which attracts many visitors to its three golf courses and a yacht and country club.
Sweetwater Valley Farm is another favorite among tourists to the area and is located between the towns of Loudon and Philadelphia. Its name comes from the dairy-rich Sweetwater Valley in the heart of southeast Tennessee, an area which is renowned for its rich farm land and agricultural prowess. Many visitors stop off here to visit this working dairy farm to see where their fine cheeses are made. Weather permitting, they can enjoy a walking tour of the farm to experience the dairy in operation and to find out more about the process involved from milking cows to cheese. The farm store is open daily from 8.30am to 6pm week days, 9am until 5pm Saturdays and from 1-6pm on Sundays so you can sample and buy their freshly made products to take home with you. There are also a few other attracts with an educational theme, just a short drive from Loudon, that are ideal for the whole family including the American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE) – a science museum in Oak Ridge – and the Museum of Modern Rubber in Knoxville both of which are around twenty miles away. Knoxville is also home to several art galleries including Art Galleria, Gore’s Gallery and the Lion’s View Gallery.