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Going on a hike with your family is a great way to spend quality time together and take in the incredible views. At Cades Cove, you’ll have the opportunity to see wildlife, learn about the culture and rich history of the Smoky Mountains, and explore beautiful trails winding through the national park. Before you decide where to hike, take a look at our list of 5 family friendly hikes in Cades Cove:
1. Rich Mountain Loop
The Rich Mountain Loop is an extensive hike of about 8.5 miles. This is a great walking alternative to the Cades Cove Loop Road. You’ll pass a beautiful meadow bursting with flowers at the beginning of this hike. After almost 1.5 miles, you will come to one of the oldest structures in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the Oliver Cabin. You and the kids will enjoy learning about the Oliver family and the settlements of the 1800s. This hike also has great birds-eye views of Cades Cove with lots of opportunities to see wildlife!
2. Beard Cane Trail
Beard Cane Trail in Cades Cove is a 4 mile hike with lots of beautiful scenery. It’s a fairly flat trail with huge trees, foliage, and the peaceful Beard Cane Creek. This trail is a great option for families because of its easy access and flat trail. Kids will enjoy dipping their toes in the creek on the hot summer days! You’ll reach the end of the trail after about 4.2 miles, when it meets with Ace Gap Trail.
3. Abrams Falls
Probably the most popular hike in Cades Cove, Abrams Falls is a moderate 5-mile hike. The 20-foot waterfall, however, is definitely worth the hike! It’s a perfect spot to take a picnic and snap some gorgeous photos. You will cross several log bridges on your way to the falls, and some rocks can be slippery, so be sure you and the kids are wearing good hiking shoes!
4. Copper Road Trail
The Copper Road Trail is a day-long hike along an old Indian trail. It’s a relatively easy hike, with several other connections to other trails, including the Wet Bottom Trail. This hike takes you across a creek, over several ridges, and past deep ravines. The last leg of the trail is mostly downhill, which is a nice way to end a hike, and leads you down to the Abrams Creek Campground.
5. Ace Gap Trail
Another great hike in Cades Cove is the Ace Gap Trail. A little more than 5.5 miles, this trail has some of the most beautiful wildflowers in the entire park in the spring. You’ll pass massive oak trees and the famous Bull Cave, as well as many other types of foliage, rocks, and trees. Towards the end of the hike is an old railroad bed; Ace Gap got its name after the loggers would stop there on their break to play cards.
Now that you know a few of the best hikes in Cades Cove, you’re ready to explore the beautiful Smoky Mountains! Check out these 5 essential things you should bring on your hiking trip, then start packing!