Roan Mountain, Tennessee

This article is about the community of Roan Mountain, Tennessee, a census-designated place. For the nearby state park, see Roan Mountain State Park.

Roan Mountain is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Carter County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 1,160 at the 2000 census.


Roan Mountain is located in northeast Tennessee at (36.194219, -82.068417). The elevation at Roan Mountain varies from in the center of the CDP to at the alpine summit of Roan Mountain, away by air.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 7.4 square miles (19.2 km²).

The Doe River flows from the northern slopes of Roan Mountain, through Roan Mountain State Park and the center of town, and into the confluence with the Watauga River at Elizabethton.

Bakersville, North Carolina is found on the opposite (southern) side of Roan Mountain and the Tennessee-North Carolina state line.


As of 2004, US 19 splits into US 19E and US 19W in Bluff City, Tennessee. north of Elizabethton. The routes rejoin in rural Yancey County, North Carolina. While US 19W heads directly for Interstate 26 at Exits 35 and 36 in Johnson City, Tennessee, US 19E takes a 70-mile (113 km) path through the Great Smoky Mountains. US 19W doesn't completely avoid the mountains, however. It breaks off I-26 shortly before the Tennessee-North Carolina border, and takes a tortuous path through the mountains of Yancey County, North Carolina.

US 19 breaks away from the interstate, but alternate route US 19W is co-signed with Interstate 26 for much of its Tennessee length. US 19E in Tennessee is the same highway as State Route 37.


As of the census of 2000, there were 1,160 people, 484 households, and 351 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 60.4/km² (156.4/sq mi) and there were 539 housing units at an average density of 72.7/sq mi (28.0/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 99.48% White, 0.26% African American, 0.09% Native American, and 0.17% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.17% of the population.

There were 484 households out of which 31.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.0% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.3% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 23.6% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 96.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.6 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $17,813, and the median income for a family was $24,524. Males had a median income of $19,044 versus $20,792 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $12,046. About 23.4% of families and 27.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.4% of those under age 18 and 26.4% of those age 65 or over.


The East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad ("Tweetsie") passed through the town until it ceased operations in 1950.


  • The migrational pattern of chicadees crosses through Roan Mountain during the early winter months.
  • The Cloudland Hotel was constructed during the 1880s by Roan Mountain resident General John Wilder, and was at one time considered to be the highest elevated hotel located east of the Mississippi River.
  • Notable guests of the hotel included Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell.
  • Elvis Presley frequented the old Roan Mountain Motel during his early touring days.
  • U.S. Vice PresidentRichard Nixon once visited the annual Rhododendron Festival in Roan Mountain.
  • Country Music icon Johnny Cash once performed in Roan Mountain.

Roan Mountain Rhododendron Festival and related tourism

Roan Mountain Rhododendron Festival

Roan Mountain, Tennessee is host to the early summer rhododendron festival --- sited at the lower elevation of Roan Mountain State Park --- offering visitors many opportunities to sample traditional foods, purchase locally handmade crafts, and listen to a variety of traditional Southern Appalchian musicians during the scheduled events. Famous for its beautiful and extensive alpine catawba rhododendron gardens, the Roan Mountain Rhododendron Festival is easily accessible by motor vehicle and showcases the natural beauty of the annual catawba rhododendron bloom that usually peaks on the during the third or fourth weekend in June.

"The AT": Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail (or simply "The AT") runs along the top of Roan Mountain, providing hikers a view of a wide variety of plants such as Flame Azalea and Gray's Lily.

See also


External links

Wild Flowers

Roan Mountain Tourism and Recreation

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