horses in Cades Cove

4 Interesting Facts About The Cades Cove Loop

sunny summer day on cades cove loop road
March 6, 2023

The Cades Cove Loop Road is a very popular auto trail in the Great Smoky Mountains! Along the road, you will see bountiful wildlife, historic sites, and gorgeous scenery! The road holds a lot of history and is beloved by many who visit the Smokies. Are you interested in finding out what makes this route so unique? Here are 4 interesting facts about the Cades Cove Loop:

1. The Cades Cove Loop is a Single Lane Road

Cades Cove Loop RoadDid you know the Cades Cove Loop road is actually a one-way road? This 11-mile paved road is made to be enjoyed! There are plenty of pull-offs and parking lots along the way to stop and enjoy the scenery. The speed limit on the road is 20 miles per hour and it will take you around 2 hours to drive the full loop. You will want to roll down your windows for this scenic drive! Take in the fresh mountain air while enjoying all the sights and sounds.

2. The Road Follows an Old Logging Railroad Track

Before the Cades Cove Loop was paved, there was once an old logging railroad track that followed the same route. This area in the Great Smoky Mountains caught the eye of logging companies in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They established routes that were used to transport lumber out of the remote area. Many people settled in the Cove and financially benefited from logging operations.

3. See Historic Structures From The 1800s

john oliver cabinWhen you travel along the Cades Cove Loop, you will see many historic structures! Some of the structures even date to the 1820s! Cabins that are still standing in Cades Cove include The John Oliver Cabin, The Elijah Oliver Place, The Becky Cable House, The Henry Whitehead Cabin, The Dan Lawson Place, The Tipton Place, and The Carter Shields Cabin. There are a few churches along the Cades Cove Loop as well! Along the way, you will see The Primitive Baptist Church, The Cades Cove Methodist Church, and The Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church. Some other interesting structures to see are The John Cabin Grist Mill and The Myers Barn.

4. There Are Shortcuts

Did you know there are a few shortcuts along the Cades Cove Loop? You can use 2 shortcuts if you do not want to finish the full trail. The first shortcut is on Sparks Lane. This road runs north-south and is located about 1 mile into the 11 miles drive. It is a two-way road that many people use for walking. The other shortcut is Hyatt Lane. This two-way road is located around 3 miles into the drive and also runs north-south. An interesting fact about Hyatt Lane is that it was originally part of a Cherokee trail! These shortcuts are great to use if you run out of time or just want to explore the area a little more.

Are you interested in learning more about the Cades Cove Loop? Check out our page on the Cades Cove Loop Road where you will learn about the hours, directions, things to see, and more! Have a great time exploring the beauty of Cades Cove!

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