horses in Cades Cove

Answers to Your Most Popular Questions About Cades Cove

Breathtaking photo of Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains.
August 2, 2022

Cades Cove should be on everyone’s itinerary when they visit the Smokies. You may have a few questions before you visit the Cove, and we’ve got the answers!

Is Cades Cove worth it?

A narrow trail winding with the Great Smoky Mountains in the background100% YES! Not only is Cades Cove beautiful, it is also full of history and great hiking trails! Since it doesn’t cost a thing to go to Cades Cove, it’s a great free activity for you to enjoy. It is also a wonderful way to spend a day with your family, as the kids will love trying to be the first to spy our local wildlife, such as deer, turkey and even our black bears! They can also play in the streams that run through this area of the park and see what life was like before the national park was formed.

Is Cades Cove free?

Of course! Driving the Cades Cove Loop doesn’t cost you a thing. You can come as soon as they open or later in the day and it will always be free for visitors. Just remember to treat the park and all the buildings with respect so that others may continue to enjoy this scenic piece of our mountain heritage!

Where is Cades Cove in Tennessee?

Cades Cove is located close to Townsend TN, which is right next to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There is only one way to drive in to Cades Cove, although maps will show several roads. These roads are one-way rough gravel roads that lead out of the Cove to different areas that are only open seasonally, and 4 wheel drive is recommended.

How far is Cades Cove from Gatlinburg?

The drive to Cades Cove from Gatlinburg is typically about 45 minutes, however heavy traffic can cause delays in the busier seasons. Once you turn on to Little River Road, the distance is calculated at about 33.4 miles from Gatlinburg. Many people dedicate a whole day to visiting Cades Cove to ensure that they have plenty of time to visit the historic buildings, enjoy a hike and maybe even plan to have a picnic lunch!

For more information and directions to Cades Cove, please visit our blog: Where is Cades Cove?

When is Cades Cove open?

Cades Cove on a summer dayCades Cove is open daily from sunrise to sunset. In the summer months, the Loop opens later on Wednesdays and Saturdays so that bikers and joggers can use the loop without being disturbed by motorists. The only time Cades Cove will be closed is when the roads in the park are closed due to winter weather, or if road or other maintenance is being performed.

How long is the Cades Cove Loop?

The Cades Cove Loop is roughly 11 miles long. On your drive around the loop, you will be able to see all the different cabins and hike a few trails if you so wish. Cades Cove has a lot of beautiful scenery, so you may end up just driving the loop to enjoy the landscape and incredible views. Many visitors will travel the loop more than once on a single day, hoping to see more wildlife!

Is Cades Cove in a national park?

cades cove cabin in springYes it is. It’s one of the oldest and most visited areas in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Because it is part of a national park, you will want to be sure to be respectful of the historic structures, plants and wildlife, and leave everything as you found it. And, if you want to camp when you visit the Smokies, Cades Cove even has a campground you can stay in!

Is Cades Cove pet friendly?

Yes, but there are some things you need to keep in mind when you bring your pet along for a trip to the Cove. Pets must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times when in the park. They are not permitted on any of the trails in Cades Cove, in order to protect the wildlife as well as your pet.

Want to learn more about Cades Cove? Check out some of our other articles about Cades Cove and start planning your trip to the Cove today!

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