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Top 3 Things to Know About Having a Campfire While Camping at Cades Cove

camping at cades cove
April 30, 2024

When it comes to camping under the stars, the evening campfire is always a highlight of the experience! While this is certainly no different at the Cades Cove Campground, there are a few things to be aware of since you are spending the night in a national park! It is important to know about the firewood regulations so that you know what to purchase in advance or collect while in the park. Here are the top 3 things to know about having a campfire while camping at Cades Cove:

1. Bundled Firewood Regulations

bundled firewood

If you are planning on purchasing a bundle of firewood before your stay at the Cades Cove Campground, keep in mind that only heat-treated firewood bundled in its original packing and bearing a certification seal from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) or a state department of agriculture may be brought into the park. Fortunately, heat-treated wood is available from a growing list of private businesses in communities around the park, which can be found via Firewood Scout. You’ll also find heated-treated firewood concessions at the Cades Cove Campground itself for your convenience! Note that certified heat-treated firewood is packaged and clearly marked with a state or federal seal, and the regulations are strictly enforced.

2. Gathering Firewood in the National Park

Another one of the top things to know about having a campfire while camping at Cades Cove is that you can actually gather firewood from within Great Smoky Mountains National Park! As long as you only collect wood that is dead and down on the ground in the park, it is perfectly fine to use for your campfire. The process of gathering firewood can actually be a fun family activity as your children can enjoy contributing as part of the campground experience. Fortunately, the Cades Cove Campground is surrounded by the natural beauty of the forest with gorgeous trees in every direction, so you should have no problem collecting enough firewood!

3. Campfire Rules at Cades Cove Campground

cades cove campground

In addition to the firewood restrictions, keep in mind that campfires are only permitted in the fire rings at your campsite. While enjoying your time around the campfire, the park asks that you be considerate of other campers and remember that the quiet hours are from 10 PM to 6 AM. If you are planning to make s’mores and have other snacks around the campfire, keep all food items properly secured in a sealed vehicle or a camping unit of solid, non-pliable material at all times when they are not being used. You should also dispose of any garbage promptly in the dumpsters provided at the campground. These strict policies are in place because bears and other wildlife frequently visit the Cades Cove area!

Now that you’re familiar with everything you need to know about having a campfire while camping at Cades Cove, you’re ready for a fun, safe, and exciting campground experience! If this is your first time camping in the area, check out this list of things to bring when you stay at the Cades Cove Campground!

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