Cades Cove

Here in East Tennessee we live near one of the most beautiful places on Earth: the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. People travel from all over the world to experience the Mountains and all that it has to offer. One place in particular draws in tourists all year around, Cades Cove. I sat down with Dr. Drew Crain, a professor at Maryville College, to talk about the best ways to enjoy Cades Cove.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or a novice hiker anyone can enjoy a day at Cades Cove. The park offers several hiking trails, waterfalls and streams, wildlife and old cabins to explore. Dr. Crain explains “The best way to enjoy the park is to get out of your car and explore. Pack water and your camera. It’s important to stay hydrated.” Its also best to avoid peak tourist visitation times which is Spring and Summer, 10 am to 3 pm. Your most likely to run into long car jams during these times.

Dr. Crain says his favorite hiking trail is the Abram Falls Trail, it is an easy trail to hike that is usually not crowded. Hikers turn left to reach the falls and turn right to reach the Elijah Oliver Cabin. The cabin is just one a several structures that can be found in the park. Many families lived in Cades Cove before it was designated as a National Park. Visitors will find old cabins, barns, fences and even a church with a small cemetery.

One of the best things about Cades Cove is its diverse wildlife. King Fishers, Great Blue Herons, Woodpeckers and other birds make it a bird watchers paradise. Other animals such as deer, bears and foxes will can also be found through out the park. If you find a stream and look under the rocks you might even find a frog or salamander! Be sure to return any rocks to the way that you found them before you leave.

The most important thing to remember when visiting Cades Cove is to leave no trace of your adventure. Be mindful of the environment and the animals that live there.

Designated on September 2, 1940, Cases Cove was a key settlement that was included within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park boundaries.


The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was designated on September 2, 1940, with Cades Cove being a key settlement that was included within the Park’s boundaries. Families moved out of the Cove and park conservationists began trying to restore Cades Cove to its natural

If you want to avoid long car jams, Dr. Crain advises visitors to to go either early in the mornings or late afternoons. Try to avoid peak tourist visitation times which is between 10 am and 3 pm.

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