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If you’re planning a trip to Cades Cove while you’re in the Smokies, we suggest taking some time to check out the awesome hiking trails in the area. Cades Cove offers hikes for all skill levels, so your whole group can enjoy this activity. If you plan on hiking, there are a few things you should know first. Here are 5 safety tips for trails in Cades Cove:
1. Don’t Hike Alone
We know the idea of spending time in the woods in seclusion sounds nice, but we suggest you always have a partner hiking with you at all times. Having at least one other person hiking with you decreases the chances of accidents on the trail. Even if you do experience any incidents like a twisted ankle or getting lost, having another person there will be a huge help. If for any reason you do hike alone, make sure someone knows where you’re going and has your location at all times.
2. Pack Snacks and Water
Staying hydrated and keeping your energy up on hikes is very important, that’s why it’s essential to pack water and snacks if you’re planning a hike. It doesn’t matter if you’re planning a long or short hike, or what the weather looks like. You need to be hydrating and eating enough to maintain your energy for the hike. A few water bottles and granola bars can be the difference in a successful or unsuccessful hike.
3. Wear Proper Hiking Gear
You don’t have to invest in today’s top hiking products to come prepared for a hike in Cades Cove. While most of the trails are pretty easy to navigate, you still need to be wearing proper hiking gear. A few examples would be closed-toed shoes and an appropriate amount of layers depending on the weather and season in which you’re hiking. Also carrying a backpack with all your necessary items is recommended as well.
4. Account for Time and Weather
Cades Cove is open year round from 8 AM to sunset, weather permitting. Before you adventure onto one of the trails, you need to check the length of the hike and the expected weather. One of the biggest hiking safety tips we can offer is planning your hike around the permitted park hours, as well as making sure you aren’t out after the sun goes down. Hiking in the dark can lead to a bigger chance of getting lost or tripping over the trail so you should avoid this situation at all times.
5. Watch for Wildlife
Cades Cove is home to tons of Smoky Mountain wildlife that you’ll probably see at some point during your time at the cove. From black bears, white tailed deer and turkey, there are lots of different animals that call this area home. It’s important to know what to do if you come in contact with any of these animals, especially black bears. The important thing to remember is to give them their space, and leave them to their environment. You’re in their home, so it’s important to be respectful.
Now that you know a few more hiking safety tips, you’ll be better equipped for your next trip to Cades Cove. Curious to see what trails Cades Cove offers? Check out some of the most popular hikes in the area!