SMOKY MOUNTAINS & CADES COVE
To fully experience the grandeur of our region, one only has to venture into the GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
. At 500,000 acres, it's the largest piece of wilderness east of the Mississippi. 800 miles of trails are packed with over 1,400 species of flowering plants, including 150 tree species, over 50 species of ferns, 71 mammals, 35 amphibians and at least 235 birds. And be on the lookout for black bears. Many of them can be seen throughout the park daily!
Interested in having a low impact on the Park? Click here to make yours a green visit to the Smokies!
And discover a few things you can do
as an "EcoTourist"!
Be aware of bears as you hike and camp! Be informed about what do do. Click here to see the National Park's 6 minute video of hiking safety in bear country: http://thegreatsmokymountains.org/hike_smokies_challenge
Stop by the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center Museum
on your way to the Cove. View exhibits of Native American and early settler history, natural features, and ramble out back among cabins, barns, blacksmith shop, and more!
For a scenic excursion, you may drive the 11-mile, one-way, paved Loop Road in Cades Cove. Deer, bear and wild turkey are frequently seen on this route. Also along the way: churches and cemeteries which once served residents of the cove, the Cable Mill area, and several pioneer cabins, barns, and houses. Please be courteous and use pull-offs to let other traffic pass
. Some visitors, hikers, and Park staff need to get to other destinations and trailheads in the Cove.
Cades Cove and the Methodist Church viewed from Rich Mtn. Road
The Cades Cove Loop Drive reopened April 24, 2010 with new pavement and pull offs. Enjoy the Cove, and click here to find more explorations in our beautiful part of the Smokies: Discover the Smokies Beyond Cades Cove.
Cades Cove lies peacefully in a tranquil valley. It was home to hundreds of families before the formation of the Park. Open fields stretch between 5,000-foot mountain peaks. At Cable Mill Visitors Center there is a fully operational grist mill with a working waterwheel and other historic structures. Wednesdays and Saturdays from early May to late September the loop road is closed to motor vehicles until 10:00 a.m., allowing a safe, quiet experience for bicyclists, pedestrians, and the adventurist on horseback. Summer programs include apple butter making and performances in the amphitheater. Come by the Cades Cove Visitors Center, on the far end of the Loop Road, for more information.
As you enter Cades Cove, you may stop and purchase a copy of the auto tour booklet published by the Great Smoky Mountains Association
. It's available in a stand by the roadside at the beginning of the loop road and also at the Ranger Station. Cost $1.00.
For Smokies Road Report information online and on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/smokiesroadsnps