When you get to read up on historical landmarks in the Tennessee Smokies, one area name that inevitably comes up is Cades Cove. Cades Cove is one of the largest preservation sites of long-since past Appalachian antiquity you can find on our side of the mountain and an absolute must-see for guests who particularly love the atmosphere and history our area has come to be famous for. Cades Cove is as pure and unfiltered Smoky Mountain everything as it gets!
This page will be quoting from the National Park Service webpage on Cades Cove and serve as an introduction to it:
Cades Cove Loop Road, Cades Cove is a broad, verdant valley surrounded by mountains and is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smokies. It offers some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing in the park. Large numbers of white-tailed deer are frequently seen, and sightings of black bear, coyote, ground hog, turkey, raccoon, skunk, and other animals are also possible.
An 11-mile, one-way loop road circles the cove, offering motorists the opportunity to sightsee at a leisurely pace. Allow at least two to four hours to tour Cades Cove, longer if you walk some of the area’s trails. Traffic is heavy during the tourist season in summer and fall and on weekends year-round. While driving the loop road, please be courteous to other visitors and use pullouts when stopping to enjoy the scenery or view wildlife.
An inexpensive self-guiding tour booklet available at the entrance to the road provides a map and information about the cove.
Cades Cove History, The valley has a rich history. For hundreds of years Cherokee Indians hunted in Cades Cove but archeologists have found no evidence of major settlements. The first Europeans settled in the cove sometime between 1818 and 1821. By 1830 the population of the area had already swelled to 271. Cades Cove offers the widest variety of historic buildings of any area in the national park. Scattered along the loop road are three churches, a working grist mill, barns, log houses, and many other faithfully restored eighteenth and nineteenth century structures. Pick up the self-guiding tour booklet available at the entrance to the loop road for information about the buildings you’ll see in the cove and the people who lived here.
Self-Guiding Auto Tour Booklet Cades Cove, Keyed to numbered posts or landmarks along the Cades Cove Loop Road, this tour booklet describes the history of the Cove and describes the homes, barns, churchs, Cable Mill, and other historical buildings you’ll see as you tour Cades Cove. Features historical photographs and illustrations which show what life was like a century ago.
Hiking in Cades Cove, Numerous trails originate in the cove, including the five-mile roundtrip trail to Abrams Falls and the short Cades Cove Nature Trail. Longer hikes to Thunderhead Mountain and Rocky Top (made famous by the popular song) also begin in the cove.