Discover the Best Directions to Uncover Cades Cove

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Cades Cove - Great Smoky Mountains National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

Cades Cove offers an extensive landscape that's covered with mountains and is an ideal destination for vacationers from the Great Smokey Mountains. The park also features a massive wildlife area, which is prime terrain for white-tailed deer to be seen and easily spotted.

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Cades Cove Loop

Cades Cove is a popular destination in the Great Smoky Mountains! This area can be surprisingly hectic! The Cades Cove Loop is a 12-mile paved loop which runs in one direction. Along the loop you can expect a variety of historical sights. Smoky Mountain Coves are a relatively flat valley between mountain and ridge. There's just one entrance to Cades Cove Loop. This access road you reach Laurel Creek Road was created after Grand Smoky Mountains National Park was created in 1934.

Touring the Cove

The Cades Cove Loop Road is accessible to vehicles from Monday to Saturday, from 5th April to 28th August . An 11-mile loop road crosses the cove, letting drivers explore it at their leisure. Spend at least 1-2 hours per day to visit Cades Cove. Traffic is high during the tourist season in Summer and Autumn, as well as weekend all the year. If you travel along the loop road please keep an open mind to all others and use pullouts for viewing the scenery.

How far is Cades Cove from Gatlinburg?

Located just outside of Gatlinburg, TN, this historic valley has been around since the 1800s and is home to a variety of wildlife.

The answer depends on what route you take. By car it’s an easy 20-minute drive down Little River Rd with beautiful views of the mountains along the way. For those looking to explore on foot or bike there are several trails connecting Gatlinburg to Cades Cove that range in length from 5-13 miles depending on which route you take.

Whether you're driving or walking/biking be aware that Cades Cove does get very busy during peak seasons so plan accordingly!

Things to See Along the Cades Cove Loop Road

From majestic mountains to plentiful wildlife, here are some of the best things to experience along the Cades Cove Loop Road.

Beginning at the western entrance of Townsend Wye, visitors will quickly encounter lush green hillsides and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Along the way, be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife such as deer, turkeys, raccoons and black bears! Further down the road lies Cades Cove which provides opportunities to explore historic buildings such as churches and mills while also providing stunning mountain views. Nature lovers should also check out Abrams Falls Trailhead where they can take in a 20-foot waterfall surrounded by rocks and greenery!

Cades Cove Loop Road Hours

It's also possible for residents to drive along the Cades Cove Loop from 8 am to 2 pm.

John Oliver Cabin

The John Oliver cabin was the first structure to be viewed by a visitor along the loop. It was named after the original pioneer who moved the Cade Cove, and is firmly secured by gravity. Notched corners lack nails or ties.

Directions to Cades cove

To get there, take advantage of the following directions.Begin your journey by heading south on US 441 towards Gatlinburg from Knoxville. After approximately 60 miles, you will reach Townsend and will turn onto Little River Road at traffic light #8. Follow this road for 6 miles until you enter Cades Cove entrance station where you will pay an admission fee to gain access to the park's facilities.

Cooper Road Trail

The Cooper Road Trail, once a direct route from Maryville Tennessee, has become a relaxing hiking trail for Smoky Mountain visitors today. It was named after Joe Cooper who helped improve the wagon path in the days of early settlers. The Cooper Trail is approximately 10.9 km roundtrip. This is considered an easy, moderate hiking trail and takes visitors to the Abrams Creek camping ground. Bring a camera while hiking the Smoky Mountain trail.

From Pigeon Forge parkway

From Pigeon Forge Parkway, it's easy to get to Cades Cove with just a few simple directions.

To reach Cades Cove from Pigeon Forge Parkway, follow US-441 North for about 10 miles until you reach TN-73/Townsend Wye. Turn left onto TN-73 and follow it for 8 miles until you enter Townsend from Walland Highway/TN-338. Continue straight on TN-73 for 4 more miles until you see Cades Cove Road on your right. Follow this road for 11 miles and you will be at the entrance of Cades Cove.

Methodist Church

Although not as prominent as many baptists, Methodists who lived in Cades Cove sought a church. They received their wish in the late 1820s when building engineer John McCampbell remodeled the Methodist Church which visitors can see at the third point of CadesCove Loop Road. Originally, it was a methodist church but was changed in 1902. The fourth historic house located at CadesCove Loop Road is the Missionary Baptist Church. It was established in 1839 when some members of Primitive Baptist Church had dissolved and formed the church aimed at Missions activities and was founded by Evangelism for the Church.

John Oliver Place

John O'Hara Place is regarded by many as an iconic historic structure within a historic park. It's one that will be visible first before entering Cades Cove. The John Oliver home was built in the 1850s. The house was the most historic in Cades Cove. It is cool because it'll be buried in mud mortar.

When is Cades Cove closed for bikers and foot traffic?

From early May to late September, bicycles are allowed on the loop of Cades Cove from 1 to 4 :30 p.m. Vehicle entry is allowed from Saturday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Abrams Falls

Abrams is an iconic waterfall in the Smoky Mountains! The trailhead may appear shortly after exiting Elijah Olivier's home. It takes five miles to reach a waterfall. Abrams waterfall has an elevation of 20 ft but attracts the visitor because of its huge volume! Its rushing waters converge on the waterfall, then collect in a deep pool below the base.

Primitive Baptist Church

There's a lovely parking lot behind Primitive Baptist church. It can help you stretch your legs while parking in a comfortable area. Its foundation date is 1828. It replaced a log building built in 1887.

Cable Mill

Once inside of the Visitors' Center visit the John P. Cable Mill historic area. It is the only working gristmill in Grand Smoky Mountain National Park. A tour of the mill will allow guests to explore historic homes and buildings, like a farmhouse and a smokehouse.

Elijah Oliver Place

Elijah Oliver is an older son to John Oliver. It's a house that was first seen on the loop road. After the Civil Wars, he lived there.

John P. Cable Grist Mill and Visitors Center

The Cable Mill area includes the Cades Cove visitor center, a blacksmith shop, LeQuire cantilever barn, millrace dams, greg-cable house and J.P. Cable Mill. You may also buy cornmeal grains and whole wheat flour from Cable Mills in the Visitors Centre or Cable Mills.

Cades Cove Wildlife

Whitetail deer and black bears are among the species that are also found. You might be able to use binoculars to see wolves at night. We're so glad we've had ten pairs on our recent trip for the best possible viewing of wildlife. Always protect yourself against wildlife. You'll be able to observe that people get closer to wildlife while you're in the area. Please stop joining! I had to tell some of them during their first visits that it was impossible for them to come up to mama bears and their cubs. They wanted some pictures of themselves using a smartphone.

Cades Cove Nature Trail

Go hiking at Cades Cove! Most visitors are familiar to this area for wild flowers in spring, but the forest is dotted with oaks, dogwoods, sour wood and pine.

Henry Whitehead Place

Henry Whitehead among Cades Cove's newest homes. This home blends traditional log homes with framed houses. Frame houses can be made from sand. During its life, it was only the 3rd cabin in the Smoky Mountains that had been constructed that way. Be the first to stay in the park today!

Cades Cove Visitor Center

Stop by Cades Cove Visitor Center for some souvenirs.

Dan Lawson Place

Lawson Place is distinctive due to its brick chimney. All brickwork for the chimney was constructed at the Cades Cove.

Tipton Place

The 2-story house was lived by Miss Lucy and Miss Lizzie Tipton who taught in Cades Cove. Its owner was Colonel Hamp Tipton. The cantilevan house is located on the opposite side of Tipton Place.

Things to know when planning a trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The park does not require admission fees.

Time zone - Eastern Standard.

Foods and restaurants – There is no establishment within park.

Drone flying is prohibited by the National Park Service.

For more detail, you'll love the National Geographic Trails illustrated map that can easily be purchased online or at Amazon. Junior Ranger Program

- The Junior Ranger booklets cost $1.75 at the visitor center or at Cades Cove or Elkmont camp.