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Cades Cove TN

Cades Cove is a secret little paradise inside a paradise. Located deep inside The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cades Cove is a look back at what it was like for the settlers of our country to live in a time when everyone had to fend for themselves.

The Cove is an untouched 6,800 acre slice of heaven that seems like one of the most screne places left in North America even though it receives more than 2 million visitors every year. One of the most popular activities in Cades Cove is to just take the 11 mile loop road around the cove and explore the various small communities, churches, graveyards, fields and way of life experienced by our early settlers.

The best time to take your ride around the cove is either early morning or late in the evening. During these times you have the best chance of seeing some of the abundant wildlife scurrying about. We have seen several deer and occasionally a bear during our visits to the cove.

If you get the chance on a Saturday before 10 am you can ride your bike around the cove without having to worry about vehicle traffic. This is a great way to explore the cove at a leisurely pace and not have to worry about watching out for cars. Of course you will have to be prepared for a 11 mile bike ride that has some very steep hills in places. An 11 mile bike ride is not much of a challenge for many people, but it can be for some, so please be prepared if you choose to explore Cades Cove this way.

You can also enjoy other activities while visiting Cades Cove like camping, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, hayrides and shopping. The nice thing about shopping in Cades Cove is that it is free from the commercial feel of Gatlinburg because they only sell merchandise that is relevant to the cove and a settler’s way of life. While shopping you will find some wonderful freshly milled grains, books and photography related to Cades Cove or the surrounding areas and historical items.

you may not know this but the was a post office in Cades Cove for 114 years and there were people living in the cove right up until 1999. Kermit Caughron was the last person to live in Cades Cove until he died there. Sadly, even though his home was of immense historical importance, the National Park Service decided to tear down his home two years after Kermit died because they didn’t think that it fit in with the historical setting of the cove.

Cades Cove is an absolute must see on your next visit to the Gatlinburg area. If you miss it you will miss one of the most picturesque and beautiful areas in all of North America.

Alan LeStourgeon

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