The Town of Erwin, located within Unicoi County, was officially incorporated in 1879 and named in honor of David J.N. Ervin, who donated the land to establish the county seat. The Town’s present name of Erwin resulted from a typographical error by post office officials and has been known as such ever since. Approximately 5,700 residents currently call the great Town of Erwin home, along with just under 18,000 residents living in Unicoi County.
The county’s name originates from the Cherokee Native American word “Unicoi” which stands for “hazy” or “fog-draped.” Many residents feel this name could not be more relevant for the quaint community nestled in the foothills of the upper East Tennessee mountains. Unicoi County spans approximately 186 square-miles, with 50 percent owned by the United States Government as the Cherokee National Forest.
There are many ways that residents and tourists can enjoy the breath-taking geography of the area – nicknamed the “Valley Beautiful.” Over fifty miles of The Appalachian Trail (AT), America’s best known footpath, winds through Unicoi County making it a prime area for recreational and through hikers alike. White water rafting facilities are located throughout the county for those who would like to take a guided tour through the area by way of the Nolichucky River.
Erwin’s prime location within the mountains and alongside the Nolichucky River helps keep the climate pleasantly mild. The annual average temperature is 56°F, with July as the warmest month (87°F average high) and January typically being the coldest month (25°F average low). The annual average snowfall is 15”; however, the area has been known to experience slightly more on occasion.