When you come to East Tennessee, you want to immerse yourself in the mountains. Since our hotel is minutes from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, you’ll be able to easily get to the mountains. One of the most popular destinations in the park is Cades Cove. Check out these 4 reasons why you should visit Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains.
1. See Wildlife
When you are in the mountains, you’ll probably see some kind of wildlife while you’re there. Cades Cove is known for being a place wildlife comes out. Early in the morning, you are likely to see wild turkey, all kinds of native birds, and deer grazing in the meadows. You might even be able to see black bears throughout the day in Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains. Later in the day, you also might be able to see more nocturnal animals, such as possums and racoons. In the spring and summer, you’ll also see all kinds of butterflies. While these creatures are beautiful, you should not approach them or feed them since they are wild. We want you to stay safe and take in wildlife from a safe distance.
2. Have a Picnic
A popular activity in Cades Cove is to pack a picnic lunch and eat together as a group! Grab your cooler and stop by a grocery store to get all the ingredients to make sandwiches. The picnic area in Cades Cove also has charcoal grills, so if you want to eat a burger or hot dog, bring your grill brush and charcoal to grill out! If neither of these sounds good to you, you can always grab a family feast from Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que where you get to choose what meat and sides you get. Then all you have to do is spread out a tablecloth and dig in!
3. Drive the Loop
Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains is known for its 11-mile paved loop. Before 10 am, you can actually walk or bike the loop. Any time after that, you are allowed to drive the loop in a car. You’ll probably see wildlife along the drive, and you will definitely see gorgeous views of the Smokies. There are rolling hills that are covered in wildflowers. You won’t be able to believe your eyes! You’ll also find lots of places to stop along the loop. You can get out and walk to one of the oldest buildings in the national park, John Oliver’s cabin. There is also an old grist mill, 3 churches, and old homesteads. No matter the age of the people with you, they will enjoy driving around the loop!
4. Go on a Hike
There are many hiking trails that start in Cades Cove. If you walk to John Oliver’s cabin, you can keep going to hike to the old firetower. This trail is known as Rich Mountain Loop Trail. Want to see an incredible waterfall? You should go on the 5-mile-roundtrip hike to Abrams Falls. The waterfall is 20 feet tall and has a ton of water flowing over the rocks. Want to take the kids on a short hike? Take them on the Cades Cove Nature Trail, where you’ll see dogwoods blooming in the spring.
Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains is definitely a destination you don’t want to miss out on! If you’re wondering what else you should do while you stay with us, check out our things to do page!