Posted by Darryl Payne in Gatlinburg, TN
Cades Cove is one of the most popular destinations in all of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This 11-mile auto loop takes visitors on a tour of a once tight-knit community that existed before the creation of the national park. Today, many of the cove's homesteads, churches and other structures have been preserved to show park visitors today what life was like in rural East Tennessee in the 1800s.
The area is also a showcase of nature's beauty. Framed by majestic mountains, the cove consists of rolling meadows, beautiful wildflowers and mountain streams. As such, a journey along the auto loop is a feast for the senses, including one's sense of history and adventure. Here are five things you can do on just about any given day in Cades Cove to get the most out of your time in the park.
• Visit historic structures like the Primitive Baptist Church, the Dan Lawson homestead and the Cable Mill.
• Take a hike. The trailhead to Abrams Falls is right on the auto loop.
• Bike the cove. You can rent bikes from a vendor located near the loop entrance.
• Take photos of wildlife. You're likely to see plenty of deer, wildflowers and possibly even a black bear.
• Enjoy a picnic. Find a place to spread out along the loop tour or gather at the picnic grounds near the loop entrance.
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