horses in Cades Cove

4 Questions to Ask When Hiking in Cades Cove

hiking trail with a walking bridge in Cades Cove
December 12, 2022

When you visit Cades Cove, hiking is a great activity because you get to be up close and personal with the natural beauty that the area is known for. While hiking is fun, the activity also requires a lot of preparation to ensure that you are safe while doing it. With that being said, here are 4 questions you should ask yourself when hiking in Cades Cove:

1. What Kind of Hike Do I Want?

Elijah Oliver Place in Cades CoveBefore hiking in Cades Cove, you should consider what kind of route you want to take. Some paths may be flat and others may be more hilly. The path you choose will depend on how experienced a hiker you are. If you want a flat trail, you should take the trail to the Elijah Oliver Place. It has a roundtrip length of 1.2 miles. The terrain is mostly flat, except for a few places with a gradual incline. Along with the natural views, you’ll get to see the Elijah Oliver Place, a cabin that is the oldest structure in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On the other hand, if you prefer a more rigorous path, take the Ace Gap Trail. With a roundtrip length of 11 miles, the terrain has a few steep inclines. It is also shady with beautiful views of wildflowers in the warmer months. When choosing the trail you take in Cades Cove, remember not to push yourself. After all, your primary goal should be to have fun!

2. Do I Have Good Hiking Shoes?

When hiking in Cades Cove, having the right gear can make your hike more enjoyable. No matter the weather, shoes with good traction can help you maintain your balance on the potentially rough terrain. Good shoes can also keep your feet from getting tired as well! When it gets colder, insulated boots can help keep your whole body warm on those chilly days.

3. Am I Drinking Enough Water?

woman drinking waterWhile you are hiking in Cades Cove, you don’t want being dehydrated to get in the way of your enjoyment. That is why it is important to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your hike. While most people know how vital it is to drink water in the hot weather, they may think that they need less water in colder temperatures. This is actually not the case. In fact, your body’s thirst response is delayed in colder temperatures. This means that you may be dehydrated and not even know it.

4. Should I Bring a Buddy Along?

Going hiking alone is great because you can enjoy the fresh air and clear your mind. It is almost like a natural stress reliever. Even so, it is more fun if you bring a buddy along. Doing this activity is a great way to make time for meaningful conversation. Being out in the natural beauty means that you are away from everyday distractions such as your phone and the internet. Also, if you want to make some memories, the natural scenery provides a great backdrop for pictures that the two of you can take together!

We hope you consider these questions when hiking in Cades Cove to make your time more enjoyable. For even more tips and other trail suggestions, read about these 5 incredible Cades Cove hiking trails!

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