A Cove is a relative flat valley between mountains or ridges. Interestingly, Cades Cove is in the southern part of the Appalachian Mountain Range and also part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Cades Cove is an 11-mile, one-way loop that winds in the valley. The wild life and an old community history can be explored by cars or bikes. We chose to ride our bikes the day we visited.
This area is the only section of the Smoky National Park recommended for safe bike travel. Other roads within the park are narrow with hairpin turns which are not ideal for bicyclists to peddle.
Experiencing Cades Cove
Our experience the day we rode was extraordinary. The weather was perfect and we were able to ride on our bikes at about the same speed as the motorized vehicles most of the time. The 11-mile loop takes about 2 hours which includes several interesting stops along the way.
In 1900, this valley was a farming community to about 125 families and they used the same road we biked on for traveling from place to place.
There are about a dozen points of interest and several trail heads off this route. The points of interest consist of the homesteads, out buildings, churches, graveyards, and old mill and many other artifacts of the old farming community.
There is a small village near the old working mill and a visitor’s center we enjoyed visiting. The village has an old mill, barns, homes and other buildings which give visitors a sense of what it was like to live in the early 19th century.
Cades Cove is a beautiful place and is an ideal activity for families and people of all ages. Visitors can go at their own pace on the route and enjoy nature and points of interest along the way.
For other posts on the Great Smoky Mountain National Park click the links below:
Animals of the Great Smoky Mountains
Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky National Park
Springtime in the Smoky Mountains
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