The 4 Best Activities for Families to Do Along the Cades Cove Loop
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Many visitors make the trip to Cades Cove throughout the year. If you want to bring your family to this popular area of the Smokies, you’ll have many activities to do during your visit! Here are the best 4 activities you’ll want to do with your family along the Cades Cove Loop:
1. Search for Cades Cove Wildlife
One of the main reasons why visitors love Cades Cove is for its wildlife. There are many animals to see like wild turkeys, coyotes, and white-tailed deer, and you’ll be able to see animals at any time during the year. Another popular animal your family will want to look out for? Black bears! Most black bears in the national park live in Cades Cove, so it’s very likely that you’ll get to see one during your visit. Just make sure that you remember to view any wildlife safely by giving them their space.
2. Do a Bicycle Tour of the Loop
You can bring your bikes to Cades Cove if you want to explore the loop without traveling by car or on foot. You can also rent bikes at the Cades Cove Campground! If your family wants to ride bikes in Cades Cove, make sure you have plenty of time to complete the 11-mile loop. If you don’t want to feel rushed, you can take advantage of Vehicle-Free Wednesdays! On these days, only foot and bike traffic are allowed on the loop. Vehicle-Free Wednesdays usually run from May to September, so plan your visit for that time if you want to get the most of your biking experience.
3. Hike the Cades Cove Nature Trail
Try hiking the Cades Cove Nature Trail if you have older children in your family. The trail is one of the shortest ones in the area and is located near the Cades Cove Campground. It is only 2 miles roundtrip and normally takes around 1 hour to complete. When your family decides to take this hike, you’ll have the chance to see the natural scenery that Cades Cove has to offer!
4. Visit the Cades Cove Visitor Center
About 7 miles into the Cades Cove Loop, you’ll find the Cades Cove Visitor Center. It is open every day except on Christmas. You can stop here if your family needs to rest or if you want to get gifts, books, and maps of the area. You can also find the Cable Grist Mill, which is the only remaining mill in Cades Cove! If you want to see corn milling at Cable Mill, you’ll have to visit Cades Cove from March 6 to October 31 or Friday-Sunday in November.
Other Cades Cove Activities
If you want to go beyond the Cades Cove Loop itself, there are some other Cades Cove activities you can do! Try our Cades Cove scavenger hunt if you have an adventurous group that wants to find some of the things that make Cades Cove special. There also are plenty of historical buildings to find, like Dan Lawson Place and the Elijah Oliver Cabin. Finally, your family can take a hayride or go horseback riding, hike to Abrams Falls, or spend the night at the Cades Cove Campground.
You and your family will love spending time exploring Cades Cove along the Cades Cove Loop. Excited about visiting the area? Find out more about why it is worth taking the trip to Cades Cove!