By Darryl Payne
Posted on October 11, 2010
It’s one of the most visited sites in the nation’s most visited national park. Cades Cove embodies all the best that Great Smoky Mountains National Park has to offer in terms of beauty and historical value. A journey down the 11-mile, one-way road that loops its way around the cove should be added to your list of things to do when visiting the Smokies.
Rolling pastures are framed on all sides by foothills or towering peaks. Grazing cattle, frolicking deer and the glory of the fall color change paint a picture of pastoral Smoky Mountain beauty.
As you travel the loop, you’ll see the homesteads of early settlers like Elijah Oliver and John Cable as well as some of the churches that were so important in the lives of the cove’s residents. Of particular interest is the Cable Mill area; there, you’ll find the Cades Cove visitor center and several remaining vestiges of pioneer life, such as a corn mill, sorghum mill and blacksmith shop.
When touring the cove, be sure to make time for exploring nature. At the loop’s midpoint you’ll find the trailhead to Abrams Falls, and just past the Cable Mill area, look for the Cades Cove Nature Trail. Also, the Cove’s recently repaved road is ideal for driving, biking or hiking.
And don’t forget that before visiting the Smokies, visit the Smoky Mountain Travel Guide to make your travel plans, and use our rental cabin guide to help you book topnotch accommodations that are just miles from the national park and the Cades Cove entrance.
About Darryl Payne
Darryl Payne is a native of East Tennessee in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. He is a web developer with a passion for building great websites. As a local, he can offer a unique perspective on where to stay and things to do while on vacation in the Smokies. To read his latest recommendations, please click the Google+ follow button.