Nestled in the foothills of the Cumberland Plateau, Franklin County is one of Tennessee’s best-kept secrets.
Among the regional high points are four beautiful, distinct seasons, welcoming residents, diverse recreation and volunteer opportunities, many civic & community organizations, and low taxes with moderately priced living. Communities within Franklin County include Belvidere, Cowan, Decherd, Estill Springs, Monteagle, Sewanee and Winchester. Among regional celebrations are High on the Hog International BBQ Festival, Dogwood International Dogwood Festival, Sewanee Summer Music Festival and Estill Springs Extravaganza.
Outdoors recreation is big in Franklin County. West of Winchester, the county seat, is Tims Ford State Park. The creation of Tims Ford Dam by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) at the Elk River's headwaters brought 246 miles of shoreline to Winchester. Like a blue ribbon meandering the gently rolling hills of south central Tennessee, Tim’s Ford Reservoir has been called the most picturesque lake in the entire Volunteer State, and is a trophy smallmouth lake. Golf the Bear Trace at Tims Ford and discover more than 400 acres of family fun including bicycle and hiking trails, a huge swimming pool, secluded cabins that feature fireplaces, and developed campsites for the outdoor crowd. The park operates a marina featuring a snack bar, bait shop and fish-cleaning area. The marina also provides equipment and supplies for boating and fishing, a boat-launching ramp and dock.
South Cumberland State Park is among Tennessee’s newest state parks. Distinct natural areas within the park include Savage Gulf State, Stone Door, Grundy Forest, Hawkins Cove State, and the Fiery Gizzard Trail is renowned for its beauty and diversity. Hikers enjoy observing nature, swimming in Fiery Gizzard Creek, and seeing spectacular rock formations, cascading streams, waterfalls, rocky gorges, panoramic overlooks and lush woodlands. The trail has been rated by Backpacker magazine as one of the Top 25 in the country.
Referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the South,” a rock feature at Walls of Jericho State Natural Area forms a huge, bowl-shaped amphitheater surrounded by steep, 200-foot sheer rock walls. South of Winchester, the site is part of 21,000 acres of river, forest and caves spanning the Tennessee-Alabama line.
The University of the South, founded by the Episcopal Church, was organized just before the Civil War, and consists of 13,000 acres of scenic mountain property overlooking the Tennessee Valley. Also known as Sewanee, “The Domain” or “The Mountain,” the school encompasses a full university and theological seminary. Most campus buildings are done in the Gothic style, and the university has been named by Travel+Leisure as one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States.
Railroad enthusiasts will enjoy the small town of Cowan, which began as a passenger stop on the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad in the early 1850s as a base for the Cowan-Sherwood Pusher District, a team of engines dispatched to help heavy trains travel up Cumberland Mountain. You’ll see history depicted in artifacts and models at the Cowan Railroad Museum at the 1904 depot.
Franklin County is located in Middle Tennessee, one of the state's three grand divisions. Franklin County was formed December 1807, named for Benjamin Franklin, and is located about halfway between Chattanooga, Nashville and Huntsville. A notable early settler was frontiersman Davy Crockett.
Examples of 200k Homes
The quality and convenience of healthcare are important factors when considering relocation. Franklin County offers Southern Tennessee Regional Health System-Sewanee, a satellite facility of Southern Tennessee Regional Health Systems, located on the campus of Sewanee. The facility provides high-quality healthcare for a progressive and supportive community. The nursing and support staff strives to provide individual care directed to the specific needs of each patient.
The county also offers Southern Tennessee Regional Health System-Winchester. Southern Regional Health System is a comprehensive medical facility. The wide array of services available at STRHS, combined with a qualified and diverse medical and nursing staff, is designed to meet the healthcare needs for the people and communities of southern middle Tennessee. Southern Tennessee Regional Health System continues to grow in services, medical staff, and facilities.
Among regional shopping, enjoy Winchester Downtown, a Certified TN Main Street, Dinah Shore Boulevard and Decherd Main Street.
Tax & Living Expenses
Recently, Tennessee earned a number-one spot among states considered prime retirement locations in a Bankrate.com study. Ranked by data such as climate, tax rates, cost of living and access to healthcare, Tennessee has a cost of living 9.6% below the national average.
Our state and local tax burden is the third lowest in the nation, with residents enjoying no income tax except on interest and dividends. State sales tax is 7%; 5% for food.
Tennessee has no state property tax. Property taxes are locally determined and collected.
The median home value in Franklin County is $153,000.
Retirees looking to advance their education may pursue courses at Seniors Center & FCE clubs. Franklin county also boasts notable public universities such as Motlow State Community College and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Experience Living in Franklin County
My wife Judy & I moved to Winchester, Tennessee because we were wanting to get out of the heat of Florida. We looked on a map and saw Tims Ford Lake; we had to have water. When we got here it was just like home where we grew up in the mid-west. We thought this was just a wonderful place. Since we have moved here everything has been terrific. It is a very friendly county and is just a great place to live.- Dave Van Buskirk, retired, from Clearwater Beach, Florida
Living in Franklin County has kept me young or, I should say, young at heart. There are many activities and volunteer opportunities. When I first moved to Franklin County I volunteered at the Chamber of Commerce, this allowed me to learn about this great community, make many friends and join many clubs. My husband could never take me back to Michigan, Franklin County has it all, hospitality, healthcare, shopping and recreation.- Delores Janush, retired, from Warren, Michigan
Franklin County can take some of the hassle out of your lifestyle visit. We have arranged discounts with select hotels and have coordinated VIP treatment for our visitors with participating development partners (subject to availability).
Discover Tennessee Tour
Tennessee’s array of amenities will please any interest. Whether you enjoy a active lifestyle or prefer a more leisurely pace, Tennessee provides natural beauty, a mild climate, urban conveniences and rural peacefulness.
Contact us for your personal tour of a Retire TN county.