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4 Fun Things to Do in Cades Cove

DATE : June 14, 2022

Cades Cove is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Guests can either take the drive along the 11-mile scenic loop or get out and explore some of the trails in the park. No matter what you decide to do, you are guaranteed to see beautiful mountain views, and maybe even a few critters. Here are 4 fun things to do in Cades Cove:

1. Tour Historical Buildings

Primitive Baptist Church in Cades Cove The Smoky Mountains have an amazing story to tell. They are filled with many historical sites you can visit, including a number of old cabins and buildings. When you visit Cades Cove, you will find an array of remnants of old civilizations that hold an amazing history. Two of the most popular places to visit are the John Oliver Cabin and the Primitive Baptist Church. The John Oliver Cabin was owned by John and Lucretia Oliver, who were the first permanent white settlers in the area. They moved to Cades Cove in the 1820s, before there was even a working grist mill. After more settlers arrived, they decided they didn’t want to travel long distances to attend church, so they decided to start the first baptist church in 1827. However, the Primitive Baptist Church you can walk inside today was not constructed until 1887.

2. Admire the Wildlife

One of the most popular things to do in Cades Cove is drive the scenic road in search of all types of Smoky Mountain wildlife. Some of the animals you may see roaming through the fields include wild turkeys, white tailed deer, horses, and even black bears. Be sure to have your camera ready because you never know when you might spot one of these incredible animals. There are plenty of pull off areas throughout Cades Cove where you can get out of your car to get a closer look, but always remember to keep a safe distance between yourself and the creatures.

3. Explore the Trails

Abrams Falls in Cades Cove Cades Cove is home to an array of exciting hiking trails that feature all types of natural beauty. Some of the things you may come across on these hikes include beautiful flowers, old civilizations, and even gorgeous waterfalls. If you are looking for a great beginning level hike, we recommend the trip to Abrams Falls. The trail is only 5 miles roundtrip and it is relatively flat with only an elevation gain of 340 feet. Along the way, you will come across beautiful wildflowers and maybe even some creatures. The prize of this hike though is viewing the incredible waterfall. While Abrams Falls is only 20 feet high, it makes up for its lack of size with the amount of water that flows into the pool below. In fact, it is considered to be the most voluminous waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!

4. Visit the Campground Store

If you want to stop and take a break along the loop road, be sure to stop in the Cades Cove Campground Store. There you will find a ton of Smoky Mountain souvenirs, including T-shirts, figurines, and plenty of books about the Smokies. If you are staying at the campground, they also provide essentials that you might need during your camping trip. For a delicious treat, be sure to grab one of the store’s delicious ice cream cones!

Now that you know about some of the fun things to do in Cades Cove, be sure to learn more about other activities in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! We look forward to seeing you soon at our Gatlinburg hotel!

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