Cades Cove


Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Great Smoky Mountains Cades Cove
Great Smoky Mountains Cades Cove

Cades Cove is the most popular destination in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. And for good reason.

Just about everything that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has to offer is available in this place. Whether you are looking for wildlife, mountain views, the history of the Smokies, horseback riding, waterfalls, an improved campground, a designated picnic area or good hiking trails Cades Cove has what you are seeking!

Henry Whitehead Cabin Cades Cove
Henry Whitehead Cabin Cades Cove

If you are planning a trip to Cades Cove, make certain that you have everything you need to spend a full day, including a tank full of gas. The biggest negative side effect of popularity is traffic and the 11 mile trip around the Cades Cove Loop Road can take several hours without stopping. And if you are stopping along the way time can easily get away from you, so make sure that you have water and snacks at your disposal.

A quick stop at the kiosk at the Loop Road Gate will allow you to purchase an informative booklet that will help guide you on you way around the cove. There are three churches, seven homesteads, a grist mill, outbuildings and countless cemeteries to explore.

Abrams Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains
Abrams Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains

The five mile roundtrip hike to Abrams Falls is also very popular with visitors. Be forewarned that five miles is a long way to hike if you are unaccustomed to that distance. Be certain to carry water, especially during the warmer months. The average person hikes at about 2 miles per hour so the round trip, including stops at the falls and along the way should take about four hours.

Other popular trails are the Rich Mountain Loop and the Anthony Creek Trail to Spence field.

But the number one reason that people are drawn to Cades Cove is for wildlife viewing. The openness of the cove makes spotting wildlife easy. Here you will see whitetail deer, turkeys, and if you are lucky, black bears.

Cades Cove Bear
Cades Cove Bear

In addition you may spot a pileated woodpecker, a bald eagle, or a great blue heron. We have even spotted bats roosting in the John Oliver Cabin!

Cades Cove has it all! No visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is complete without a stop in the wonder that is Cades Cove.

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2 Responses

  1. White-tailed deer, black bears, coyotes, turkeys and other wildlife are frequently spotted in the open valley of Cades Cove. Wildlife viewing tips .

  2. I love Cades Cove. It’s been a while since I’ve been but I used to spend about 2 weeks a year in the Smokies and your pictures make me feel like I’m there again. Thanks for displaying all this beautiful serenity.

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