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Some people may say that the best time to visit Cades Cove is in the fall with all the beautiful colors, but every season is beautiful in this area of the national park! When it snows, Cades Cove becomes a winter wonderland, a sight you don’t want to miss out on. Check out these top 5 activities you’ll love to do in Cades Cove in the winter:
1. Drive the Loop
Driving the Cades Cove Loop is great any time during the year but is a great winter activity! When you drive around, you’ll get to see the beautiful Smoky Mountains without ever having to leave the warmth of your car if you don’t want to! You’ll be surrounded by mountains with fields around the road that are beautiful this time of year. There’s something intriguing about the cold weather and trees without leaves that’s just as beautiful as when it’s warm and trees are full of leaves.
2. Check Out Historic Buildings
You can enjoy seeing the historic buildings that make Cades Cove a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the winter. When the John Oliver cabin is covered in snow, you can imagine yourself back in time when people first came to the Cades Cove area. Stop by the churches to get an idea of what worshipping was like for people of this small community. You also need to stop by the grist mill and watch water move the wheel. You’ll enjoy seeing the historic buildings any time of the year!
3. See Wildlife
While you might think wildlife is more prominent in the spring, that’s not always the case. You have plenty of opportunity to see bears, white tailed deer, turkeys, and other wild animals in the winter. Watch birds fly from tree to tree, and wait to see if any animals cross through fields to look for food. The best time to spot animals in Cades Cove is early in the morning or right before sunset.
4. Go Hiking
A popular activity to do in Cades Cove in winter is to go on one of the many hiking trails. Abrams Falls is probably the most popular. This hiking trail is considered moderate with a 5 mile roundtrip length. Walk through old forest growth and then along Abrams Creek. When you finally come up on the waterfall, it might be frozen in the winter, creating a beautiful sight you should definitely take a picture of. You can also hike to Spence Field, Gregory Bald, and Rich Mountain Loop from Cades Cove.
5. Take Pictures
The most popular thing to do in winter in Cades Cove is take pictures. You can take pictures any time of the year and they will come out gorgeous. But there’s nothing like seeing the mountains and fields covered in snow. Capture the memories you have with your family and friends while you drive around the Loop, and take pictures of the buildings, wildlife, and landscape during this time of year.
Any time of the year, Cades Cove is beautiful. You’ll enjoy spending time here when you visit in the winter. Wondering what else you can do in Cades Cove in the winter? Check out these other things you can do.
Cades Cove will be closed for a couple of months this winter. The access road to Cades Cove Loop, Laurel Creek Road, will be closed from January 3 through February 29. Construction will be done on Bote Mountain Tunnel since it needs repairs.