Cades Cove – Great Smoky Mountains

October 24, 2010

Smoky Mountain National Park

Cades Cove is a beautiful park in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Central to the park is an 11 mile one-way motor vehicle loop that encircles the valley.


This loop brings visitors around the Cades Cove Valley. The drive contains a number of pull offs to view the wildlife, the history and the scenery.

Also in the area around Cades Cove is over 50 miles of hiking trails. Selecting can be difficult. I will be blogging about a number of these in the upcoming weeks and months. One of my most recent hikes I did in the cove was Abrams Falls.


In the Cades Cove Valley, visitors are almost guaranteed to see white-tailed deer running throughout the area. I have never been to the park (probably 40 or more visits in my lifetime) without seeing a number of these very large, graceful creatures. In fact on my last trip to Abrams Falls, I almost got a little too close, and not intentionally. I always encourage visitors to keep their distance from wild animals no matter how sweet they look, unfortunately, I did not see this buck grazing in the woods 4 feet from me. No attacks, but it gave us both a startle.

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In addition to deer, I have frequently seen wild turkeys in the fields and parking areas near the


While not wild animals, the horses at Cades Coves are also a sight to see.

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I have seen black bear in Cades Cove, but unfortunately do not have a current picture. There are tons of other animals to see in Cades Cove. Including fox, coyotes,


Cades Cove also offers a wonderful insight into the history of young America, developing in a time when pioneers were settling and yet conflicting with Native Americans in the area. A time that both exudes the American frontier spirit, and yet simultaneously represents a time of unfortunate forced migration of the Native Americans.

It is widely believed that Cades Cove is named after the wife of a Cherokee Indian Chief.

Cades Cove contains several historic buildings from the late 19th century and early 20th century. Included in these buildings are a few of the following buildings:


IMG_2402 John Oliver Cabin

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The Primitive Baptist church established in 1827.

IMG_2449 The First Methodist Church

Also included in this trail is a large historic center that can be toured, including a sorghum mill, cable mill, and visitors center.

IMG_2659 Cantilever Barn

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The scenery in Cades Cove is beautiful and diverse, keep an eye on the ever changing mountains, valleys, and creeks in area, as the driving loop winds ins and out of dense forests, and open fields.

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Directions from Gatlinburg:

1. Take 441 towards Sugarland Visitors Center

2. Turn Right at Visitor’s Center on Little River Road.

3. Follow Little River Road onto Laurel Road, and the entrance to Cades Cove.


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