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cades cove loop

5 Reasons Why You Should Drive the Cades Cove Loop

If you’re visiting the Smoky Mountains and you’re trying to decide what to do, you need to drive the Cades Cove Loop. This is the most popular scenic drive in the Smokies. The Loop is 11 miles long, and it is paved. You’ll drive through a valley surrounded by the mountains. If you’re still not sure about visiting, here are 5 reasons why you should drive the Cades Cove Loop:

1. Beautiful Views

cades cove in the fall

A major reason why people love visiting Cades Cove are the beautiful views. This area is in a valley surrounded by the mountains. There are several meadows filled with wildflowers in the spring and summer, and all of the trees change colors in the fall. Cades Cove really showcases everything that’s beautiful in the east Tennessee area.

2. Tons of History

Anyone who loves history has to drive the Cades Cove Loop. There are so many historic buildings along the loop. There are homesteads with cabins and barns so you can see what living in the pioneer days was like. There are three churches along the loop, as well as a smokehouse, grist mill, and many other buildings. You may not know this, but quite a few of the buildings in Cades Cove have been moved. They weren’t originally in the area, but they were moved to Cades Cove so people could enjoy them.

3. Get Out and Explore

john oliver cabin cades coveA huge perk of going through this Smoky Mountain drive is being able to park virtually anywhere and explore. There’s a cabin near the beginning of the Loop where you can park and walk about 0.5 a mile to look inside the cabin. You can also walk through the churches, inside the barns, and around the grist mill. If there’s a spot you see where you want to take a picture, you can pull off the road and get out. Exploring in Cades Cove is a great way to make memories!

4. Hiking Trails

There are several hiking trails that start along the Cades Cove Loop. A pretty popular hike is Abrams Falls. This hike is 5 miles roundtrip, and at the end, you’ll walk beside the creek until you reach Abrams Falls. Rich Mountain Loop is another trail you can hike in Cades Cove. It is considered hard at 8.3 miles roundtrip. There are several wildflowers along this trail in the spring, and you’ll have beautiful wooded views the entire hike.

5. Wildlife

three bears in Cades CoveCades Cove Loop is also pretty popular because of the possibility of seeing wildlife. Many people see black bears when they’re driving or hiking in the area. If you’re driving early in the morning or right before dusk, you might see white-tailed deer, turkey, coyotes, and many other animals. During the day, you’ll probably see all kinds of birds, squirrels, and bugs.

Cades Cove Loop is a great place to go to enjoy the Smoky Mountains. Are you ready to plan your next trip to the Great Smoky Mountains? Look through our Smoky Mountain cabins and book one today!