Cades Cove offers a true Smoky Mountain experience for all visitors regardless of physical condition. You can choose to drive in your own car, pedal a bike, ride horseback or hike along one of the many trails in the cove.
You can visit historic structures that range from pioneer log cabins to frame houses, hike to waterfalls and magnificent views, or observe the many species of wildlife that frequent the cove.
Since the Park was created in the late 1930's, much of the community was dismantled. Only a few historic structures remain, including three churches and a grist mill. But they paint a complete picture of life in the cove through the years of human inhabitation.
The hiking trails in the cove range from easy to challenging, and while some are very busy others are perfect for getting away from the traffic and the crowds. The busiest trail leads to Abrams Falls and is a file mile round-trip with some moderate climbing. Be certain to carry water, and the trip will be more pleasant if you pack a light snack.
Whitetail deer are common, as are rabbits and turkeys. If you are fortunate, you may see a black bear or even a she-bear with cubs. Less frequently seen are foxes, coyotes, and bobcats.
There are many species of birds too, from common sparrows to the magnificent bald eagles and pleated woodpeckers. Do not be surprised if you see a kingfisher or a snowy egret! The diversity of bird species that can be observed is without equal.
If you plan on staying in the campground at Cades Cove, be sure to make reservations. The campground is often full, especially during holiday weekends and the leaf season in October.
And speaking of the leaf season, it is not to be missed. Fall is one of the best times to visit Cades Cove! Plan to spend all day, because there is so much to see and do!
No visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is complete without a visit to Cades Cove, Don't miss it! (More Cades Cove Photos)
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