horses in Cades Cove

4 Reasons to Go Hiking in Cades Cove

cades cove
March 30, 2022

With over 850 hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains, it’s not difficult to see why people enjoy hiking in the Smokies! If you haven’t been hiking in Cades Cove yet, you’re missing out! Here are four reasons why you should go hiking in Cades Cove:

1. Hike a Variety of Trails

You do have choices when it comes to hiking trails in the Cades Cove area. Each trail offers a different look of Cades Cove and caters to anyone who loves being outdoors. Cades Cove even has two nature trails: one just past the visitor center and Pine Oaks Nature Trail at the Campground. The most popular trail is Abrams Falls Trail, which leads to the 20-foot waterfall with gushing water! Some other trails to consider are Rich Mountain Loop, Gregory Bald Trail, Anthony Creek Trail, and Spence Field Trail.

2. Enjoy Cades Cove in Your Own Way

Hyatt LaneWhen you decide to go hiking in Cades Cove during its operating hours, you have more flexibility with seeing the area. Hiking will allow you to bypass any car traffic to get to the stops you want to visit. You also can take as little or as much time as you like when exploring the area. Want to make the best of your Cades Cove hiking trip? Take advantage of vehicle-free Wednesdays during late spring to late summer!

3. Take in the Natural Scenery

You’ll get to see various types of scenery on a Cades Cove hiking adventure. The area has beautiful views of the Smokies, open meadows, and forests throughout the year. There are also streams, creeks, and waterfalls scattered in the area. If you want a truly gorgeous sight, try visiting Cades Cove for a fall hike when the fall foliage is at its peak! You’ll also have opportunities to see animals that call Cades Cove home – like turkeys, coyotes, black bears, and white-tailed deer.

4. Explore History

Carter Shields Cabin in the SpringIf you are a history buff, you’ll love hiking in Cades Cove. Several historic buildings are located in Cades Cove. A fun fact about the Cades Cove structures? Some of the buildings in Cades Cove have been moved from their original spots! However, most of the historic cabins can only be reached by going off the beaten path of Cades Cove Loop Road. Just be sure to grab a map from the Cades Cove Visitor Center or download our map to help you find them.

Hiking Tips for Cades Cove

Once you’ve made up your mind to go hiking in Cades Cove, make sure you’re prepared. If you don’t intend to spend a night or more at the Cades Cove Campground, consider taking your hike as early as possible. Don’t forget to pack food and water regardless of the length of hike you plan to take. Also, binoculars and cameras can be helpful for viewing your surroundings. Finally, hike safely by being watchful of wildlife, vehicles, and other Cades Cove visitors.

Now that you’re familiar with some reasons why you should go hiking in Cades Cove, we can’t wait for you to visit! Don’t want to hike? You’ll still have plenty of things you can do in Cades Cove from driving the Cades Cove Loop to watching corn being milled at the Cable Grist Mill. If you’re ready to try something different, click here to learn everything about going horseback riding in Cades Cove!

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