Cades Cove Introduction
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the crown of America’s national parks. Cades Cove is the jewel in that crown. In 2016, more than eleven million people visited Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Each year approximately two million make the trek through Cades Cove. It is the number one destination inside the number one park.
Anyone spending time in Great Smoky Mountains National Park will tell you that Cades Cove is the best location in the park to see wildlife in their natural surroundings. White-tail deer, black bears, coyotes, turkeys, and all sorts of wildlife can be seen almost daily.
An eleven mile, one-way, paved loop is easily navigable by auto, motorcycle, bicycle, or foot. Keep in mind that it can take 4 hours or more to see the sites at a leisurely pace (with a vehicle) during high season.
NOTE: On Wednesday mornings, until September 2020, the loop road is open only to bicycle and foot traffic.
Cades Cove is located near the park entrance, a short 10-mile drive from the Visitor Center in Townsend, TN. It is a 28-mile drive from downtown Gatlinburg, TN. The beautiful drive from Gatlinburg goes through the mountains and will take approximately an hour. Starting in Townsend will shave about 40 minutes off the drive.
The park is open year-round from sunrise to sunset, depending on weather conditions. For more extensive information about this incredible area of the park, please read our Cades Cove articles.
CADES COVE, TN (GSMNP) - Cades Cove is one of the most serene and pastoral places to be found anywhere on earth. The breathtaking views of pastureland, majestic trees, rolling hills, sunsets, and wandering animals are incomparable.
As one makes his way through this glorious valley, reminders are everywhere, that in the not too distant past, this place was also home to a small group of American pioneers.