Cades Cove, part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is one of the most popular travel destinations in the south. A scenic valley surrounded by the Smoky Mountains, Cades Cove contains some of the best views of the Appalachian Mountains. With over two million visitors a year, the cove has become the place to visit when traveling to the Great Smoky Mountains. Cades Cove is a valley rich in history, and set apart from any signs of city life.
Once a hunting area for Cherokee Indians, the cove has a rich history that goes back hundreds of years. Cades Cove has been a nationally registered historic area since 1977, with buildings and log cabins dating back to the early 19th century. Within Cades Cove visitors can walk inside churches and homes, visit old mills, and see the history of the small pioneer civilization that dwelt there. An 11-mile loop in the valley allows visitors to drive around the cove, and see the sites and views from the car. Cades Cove is also famous for the deer, and occasional black bear sightings in the area. The cove is one of the best locations in the Great Smoky Mountains to spot wild animals as well as view fantastic scenery.
For those that want to experience a little more adventure, the cove offers multiple hiking trails, as well as horseback riding and bicycle rentals. Well-known trails, such as Abrams Falls and Rocky Top, begin in Cades Cove and attract hikers of all skill levels. During the summer, there are several backcountry campsites available on the trails, offering an overnight experience in the cove for those that are interested.
When visiting the cove, it is recommended to set aside at least 2 hours to drive around and explore. Cades Cove is especially busy during the summer season and in the fall, but has extraordinary views year round that keep many visitors coming back for multiple trips.
|Mountains around Cades Cove |