Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Cades Cove

Latitude, Longitude: 35.602670, -83.774520

Cades Cove nestles in a beautiful valley. Open fields lap against 5,500-foot mountain peaks. With more than 2.5 million visitors annually, it is the Park's most popular destination. Most people come to these 5,000 open acres to observe the wildlife. In addition to the wide variety of wildlife, several historic buildings date to the Nineteenth century, including a working grist mill, barns, three churches, pioneer log cabins and frame houses.

Cades Cove is a look into the past. Preserved homes, churches, and a working mill highlight the 11-mile loop road. Wildlife abounds around the cove and sightings of deer, foxes, wild turkeys, coyotes, woodchucks, raccoons, bears, and red wolves occur. Beautiful mountain vistas climb from the valley floor to the sky. Situated in a limestone window, the result of earthquake activity and erosion, Cades Cove provides fertile habitat. Settlers first came to the cove in 1819, and farmed this land until the Park formed in the 1930s.

Cades Cove's main auto touring route is the 11-mile loop road tracing its fringe. The loop takes from 1 to 1.5 hours to drive. Traffic is often bumper to bumper, especially in summer months and October. Throughout the summer, the road is closed to motorized vehicles on Wednesdays and Saturdays until 10 am. Bicycle rental is available. Other opportunities to explore the area include walking, hiking, hay rides, horseback riding, and fishing. Rich Mountain Road, a gravel road suitable for 2-wheel drive vehicles, offers a unique perspective of the cove - and a way to escape the traffic.

Attractions - Cades Cove is a look into the past. Preserved homes, churches and a working mill highlight the 11-mile loop road. Wildlife abounds around the cove and sightings of deer, fox, wild turkeys, coyotes, woodchucks, raccoon, bear and red wolves occur frequently. Beautiful mountains climb from the valley floor into the sky. Situated in a limestone window, the result of earthquake activity and erosion, Cades Cove provides fertile habitat. Settlers first came to the cove in 1819, and farmed this land until the Park formed in the 1930s.

Cades Cove's main auto touring route is the 11-mile loop road tracing its fringe. The loop takes from one to one and a half hours to complete. Traffic is often bumper to bumper, especially in summer months and during the fall color change. Throughout the summer, the road is closed to motorized vehicles on Wednesdays and Saturdays until 10 a.m. Rich Mountain Road, a gravel road suitable for two-wheel drive vehicles, offers a unique perspective of the cove - and a way to escape the traffic.

Recreation - Bicycle rentals are available within the park. Other opportunities to explore the area include walking, camping, hiking, horseback riding and fishing.

Climate - Tennessee has a temperate climate with short, mild winters. The average annual snowfall for the state is 12 inches. Spring comes in early March bringing flowering trees and shrubs, and warmer weather. Spring temperatures average between 45 and 70 degrees F. Summers full force arrives in the region by mid May, bringing warm weather and higher humidity. The mountains of eastern Tennessee are a great place to escape the hot summer temperatures as the higher elevation cools the air slightly. Cooling fall temperatures bring crisp air and brilliant foliage colors. Mid to late October is a good time to visit the region to experience the fall color change.

Cades Cove is located in the southeastern region of Tennessee, just south of Townsend. Cades Cove lies immediately north of the southern region of Cherokee National Forest.