Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park (with Photos)

Cades Cove is a popular destination within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is located on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee in the southeastern United States. Cades Cove is one of the most visited areas in the park due to its stunning natural beauty, wildlife viewing opportunities, and rich cultural history.

Cades Cove Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Cades Cove Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Here are some key features and highlights of Cades Cove:

1. Scenic Loop Road

The heart of Cades Cove is a one-way, 11-mile scenic loop road that takes visitors through a picturesque valley surrounded by the majestic Smoky Mountains. This loop is a great place for wildlife viewing, picnicking, and taking in the scenic beauty of the area.

2. Wildlife Viewing

Cades Cove is renowned for its abundant wildlife. It's common to see white-tailed deer, black bears, wild turkeys, and a variety of bird species while driving or hiking through the area. The cove provides excellent opportunities for wildlife photography and observation.

3. Hiking Trails

Several hiking trails originate in or near Cades Cove, catering to hikers of different skill levels. Popular trails include Abrams Falls Trail, which leads to a picturesque waterfall, and the Cades Cove Nature Trail, which is a short loop perfect for families.

4. Historic Buildings

Cades Cove has preserved several historic buildings, including cabins, churches, and barns, that offer insight into the lives of early settlers in the region. The John Oliver Cabin is one such historic structure that visitors can explore.

5. Biking

The Cades Cove Loop Road is also a popular destination for cyclists. On Wednesdays and Saturdays from early May through late September, the loop road is closed to motor vehicles until 10 AM to allow cyclists to enjoy the area without traffic.

6. Visitor Center

The Cades Cove Visitor Center provides valuable information, maps, and exhibits about the area's natural and cultural history. It's a great place to start your visit and learn more about the cove's significance.

7. Camping

There are several campgrounds near Cades Cove, including the Cades Cove Campground and the Abrams Creek Campground, where visitors can stay and enjoy the natural surroundings.

Cades Cove is a place where visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains, experience its rich history, and encounter the diverse wildlife that calls the park home. It's a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Cades Cove Great Smoky Mountains National Park Map