A Peaceful Escape For Those Looking For Anything But Ordinary
Cades Cove, a mountain-surrounded valley located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is the park’s most popular destination, attracting more than 2 million visitors annually because of its well preserved homesteads, scenic mountain views and abundant display of wildlife A one-way, 11-mile paved loop around Cades Cove draws thousands of visitors daily. Only bicycle and foot traffic are allowed on the loop road until 10 a.m. every Saturday and Wednesday morning from early May until late September. Otherwise the road is open to motor vehicles from sunrise until sunset daily, weather permitting.
The cove draws attention for numerous black bear and deer sightings in the meadows and woods. Sightings of coyote, ground hogs, turkey, raccoon and skunk also are possible.
Many enthusiasts make the trip for the dozen well-preserved 19th century homesteads and churches in the cove, such as the Tipton Place, built in the 1880s, which includes the double-cantilever barn that has become a photographic icon of Cades Cove.
Cades Cove, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, also has abundant hiking access. Popular hiking trails within the cove include the trails to Abrams Falls (a nearly 10-mile roundtrip hike) and Gregory Bald, the latter named after Russell Gregory, a prominent resident of the cove.
For more information about Blount County, please call 800-525-6834 or visit www.smokymountains.org.