Natural & Historic Treasures
Nestled among the mountains of the Smokies, Cades Cove is one of the highlights of the park and also one of its most popular destinations. Imagine life as an 1850s settler at the well-preserved homesteads, churches and mills, while scanning for the Cove's current residents - deer, bear, river otter, wild turkey and many more.
For additional exploration, ask a Park Ranger about the seven trailheads within easy reach of the Loop Road, such as the Crooked Arm Ridge Trail, which offers lovely views of the Cove. Compass & Key suggests pairing a morning/mid-day visit to Cades Cove with nearby hike Spruce Flats Falls in the afternoon.
Plan your visit near sunrise to avoid the crowds and capture the beauty of this historic settlement. Compass & Key recommends driving or cycling the loop to make the best use of time as you stop at the various sites. Or, if you're a cyclist, visit on Sunday or Wednesday morning before 10am when the loop is car-free.
Distance: 11-mile one-way loop - recommend driving or biking
Time: 3-6 hours, depending on how many historic sites you visit
Starting Point: Cades Cove Loop Road (one-way loop)
To save this hike and our other recommended hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, visit our curated list on AllTrails, where you can learn about other trails in the park and create your own lists to reference through their mobile app.