Geography of Greene County, Tennessee

Geography of Greene County, Tennessee

Greene County is a charming county located in the northeastern part of the state of Tennessee, United States. Known for its scenic beauty, rich history, and vibrant communities, Greene County offers a diverse landscape that includes rolling hills, fertile valleys, and the majestic Appalachian Mountains. Covering an area of approximately 624 square miles, Greene County is home to several towns and communities, each with its own unique character.

Location and Borders

According to Acronymmonster, Greene County is situated in the northeastern corner of Tennessee, bordered by the state of North Carolina to the east and the counties of Washington to the north, Hawkins to the west, and Cocke and Jefferson to the south. The county seat is the city of Greeneville, while other significant towns include Mosheim, Tusculum, and Baileyton.

Topography and Terrain

The topography of Greene County is characterized by its diverse landscape, which ranges from rolling hills and fertile valleys to rugged mountains. The county lies within the Appalachian Ridge and Valley region, with the Great Smoky Mountains to the southeast and the Unaka Range to the northeast.

The terrain of Greene County is predominantly rural, with large tracts of farmland, forests, and pastureland. The elevation of the county varies widely, with the highest points reaching over 5,000 feet above sea level in the Unaka Range.

One notable geographical feature in Greene County is the Nolichucky River, which flows from north to south through the eastern part of the county. The river valley is home to fertile bottomlands and supports agricultural activities such as farming and livestock grazing.


Greene County experiences a humid subtropical climate, with four distinct seasons characterized by hot, humid summers and relatively mild winters. The region’s climate is influenced by its inland location and its proximity to the Appalachian Mountains.

Summer temperatures in Greene County typically range from the 80s to 90s Fahrenheit (around 27-32°C), with occasional heatwaves bringing temperatures into the 100s Fahrenheit (around 38°C) or higher. Humidity levels can be high during the summer months, particularly in the river valleys and low-lying areas.

Winter temperatures are milder than in more northern regions, with average highs in the 40s to 50s Fahrenheit (around 4-10°C) and lows in the 20s to 30s Fahrenheit (around -6 to -1°C). Snowfall is infrequent but not uncommon during the winter months, with light accumulations typically melting quickly.

Rivers and Waterways

Greene County is traversed by several rivers and waterways, which play a vital role in the region’s ecology, economy, and recreational opportunities. The Nolichucky River is the largest river in the county, flowing from north to south through the eastern part of the county and providing habitat for fish and wildlife.

Other notable waterways in Greene County include the Nolichucky Tributary, which flows into the Nolichucky River, and Lick Creek, which flows into the Nolichucky River near the town of Baileyton. These rivers and streams provide opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and other water-based activities.

Lakes and Reservoirs

While Greene County does not have any large natural lakes, the region is home to several reservoirs and man-made lakes that provide water for recreation and wildlife habitat. Horse Creek Lake, located near the town of Greeneville, is the largest lake in the county and offers fishing, boating, and picnicking opportunities for residents and visitors alike.

Other notable lakes and reservoirs in Greene County include Chucky Lakes, Lost Creek Reservoir, and Old Baileyton Lake, each of which provides a tranquil setting for outdoor recreation and relaxation.

Parks and Recreation Areas

Greene County is home to several parks, state forests, and recreational areas that showcase the region’s natural beauty and provide opportunities for outdoor adventure. Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park, located near the town of Limestone, preserves the birthplace of the famous frontiersman Davy Crockett and offers hiking trails, camping facilities, and interpretive programs for visitors.

Other popular destinations in Greene County include Cherokee National Forest, which offers hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing opportunities, and Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, which preserves the home and final resting place of the 17th President of the United States.

Agriculture and Economy

Agriculture is an important part of Greene County’s economy and heritage, with the fertile soils and favorable climate supporting a variety of crops and livestock. Corn, soybeans, hay, and tobacco are among the primary crops grown in the county, while cattle ranching and dairy farming are also important industries.

In addition to agriculture, Greene County has a diverse economy that includes manufacturing, healthcare, and tourism. The county is home to several manufacturing companies, particularly in the automotive, textiles, and food processing industries, which provide employment opportunities for residents and contribute to the local economy.

Historical Sites and Landmarks

Greene County has a rich history dating back to its early settlement by European immigrants in the 18th century. The county is home to several historic sites and landmarks that tell the story of the region’s past, including Revolutionary War battlefields, historic homes, and museums.

One notable landmark in Greene County is the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, which preserves the home and final resting place of the 17th President of the United States. The site includes several historic buildings, including Johnson’s early home, his tailor shop, and his presidential museum.

Other notable historical sites in Greene County include the Nathanael Greene Museum, which commemorates the life and legacy of Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene, and the Dickson-Williams Mansion, an antebellum home that serves as a museum and cultural center.


Greene County, Tennessee, is a region of natural beauty, rich history, and abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation. From its rolling hills and scenic rivers to its historic landmarks and charming towns, the county offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Whether exploring the trails of Cherokee National Forest, fishing on the Nolichucky River, or experiencing the region’s agricultural heritage at a local farm or market, visitors to Greene County are sure to be captivated by its charm and hospitality. With its diverse geography, vibrant communities, and strong sense of history, Greene County is a hidden gem in the Volunteer State, inviting travelers to discover its treasures and create lasting memories.

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