Cades Cove is a Smoky Mountains “Must See”
Cades Cove is a well-known, 500-million year old valley in the Townsend area of East Tennessee. (Also sometimes called Caves Cove by those not from around these parts.) Most folks who vacation at Carrs and visit the Great Smoky Mountains will surely have heard of Cades Cove, as it is one of the area’s highlights. It captures the imagination of thousands of visitors each year with its picturesque beauty, historical dwellings and opportunities to see wildlife roaming in open fields.
Nearly everyone who visits the Cove will get to see deer grazing in the fields after the heat of the day wears off, an amazing display of wildflowers in the spring and summer months, and historical log cabins dating as far back as the turn of the century. Most visitors will drive the Cove’s 11-mile paved loop but a few adventurous folks get to have an entirely different experience, one that we definitely recommend you try. If you’re feeling up to the challenge, you can choose to pull over, park and head up one of the many foot trails that begin on the loop. From Abram’s Falls, a 20’ waterfall and glistening pool, to virgin Tulip forests at Gregory’s Bald, there are more than a dozen options for a side trip off the main loop. Plan to take your time and experience the landscape and its many natural and man-made features by bringing a little picnic in a backpack and some fresh water because you’re in for a real treat!
To plan the specifics of your hikes online, we recommend visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Services Official Website to obtain current trail maps & hiking guides direct from the source. If you’re already here and staying with us at Carr’s Cottages, stop by Sugarlands Welcome Center or the Gatlinburg Welcome Center for everything you’ll need to make the most of your Cades Cove visit.
Please keep in mind that while your visiting any protected areas of our National Park, it is against the law to disturb or remove anything such as natural souvenirs like rocks, wood, flowers/petals or even small animals. Wildlife protection laws are in place to protect the creatures that call our Park home as well as our visitors. Do not feed the animals or approach them, and please do not leave any trash or debris behind after your visit. We hope that everyone can be respectful of our National treasure so that generations to come will also be able to enjoy this wonderful gift.
(The photo above is just one of the many fabulous photographs of Cades Cove and other parts of the Great Smoky Mountains by Malcom MacGregor. Visit online at Malcom MacGregor Photography to order keepsake photos and calendars.)