Over 2 million visitors annually come to enjoy the scenic beauty of Cades Cove and its many historic structures. Popular activities here include hiking, biking, touring the 11-mile Cades Cove loop road and observing wildlife.
Whether blanketed in bright wildflowers in the spring or vivid colors in the fall, the scenery at Cades Cove never disappoints.
The Great Smoky Mountains are a hikers paradise and visitors to Cades Cove Campground love the 5-mile roundtrip hike to Abram Falls. From Cades Cove Loop Road, follow the signage at the turnoff for directions to the trailhead.
Although Abrams Falls is only 20 feet high, the large volume of water rushing over falls more than makes up for its lack of height. The long, deep pool at its base is very picturesque. The trail to the falls traverses pine-oak forest on the ridges and hemlock and rhododendron forest along the creek. The waterfall and creek are named for Cherokee Chief Abram or Abraham whose village once stood several miles downstream.
A nearby horse stable provides one-hour horseback rides as well as hay rides and carriage rides from March through October, offering recreational activities for the entire family.
Campers can also enjoy high-quality backcountry fishing in the cool waters of the countless streams and rivers that snake through the mountains, with trout available in abundance.
Cades Cove Campground is open year round and combines the feel of primitive camping with the modern convenience of flush toilets and drinking water. Both Loop B and C are open from mid-April through the Thanksgiving weekend. During the off season (Dec-mid April) only sites C1-12 and C26-61 are open to camping by reservation only. Once B Loop closes for the season then generators will be allowed in Loop C, with restricted hours, UNTIL Loop B reopens for camping. During peak season (May – October) a camp store provides visitors with basic necessities as well as bike rentals.
Events like Interpretive Programs in the nearby amphitheater and Bicycle Only Days on the loop road provide visitors with a fun and unique experience.
Please visit www.nps.gov/grsm for up to date information on campgrounds, road and weather conditions in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Cades Cove is a broad, verdant valley surrounded by mountains and is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smokies. It offers some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing in the park.
Large numbers of white-tailed deer are frequently seen, and sightings of black bear, coyote, ground hog, turkey, raccoon, skunk, and other animals are also possible.
For hundreds of years Cherokee Indians hunted in Cades Cove but archeologists have found no evidence of major settlements. The first Europeans settled in the cove sometime between 1818 and 1821. By 1830 the population of the area had already swelled to 271.
The park holds one of the best collections of log buildings in the eastern United States. Over 90 historic structures, including houses, barns, outbuildings, churches, schools and grist mills, have been preserved or rehabilitated in the park, a few of which are easily accessible from the Cades Cove loop road.
Townsend, located about nine miles away, offers full service grocery stores and fuel.
This location has limited staffing. Please call (865) 448-4103 for general information.
Charges & Cancellations
• If you plan to arrive at a date later than your arrival date you MUST contact the campground office 865-448-4103 in order to avoid a cancellation to your reservation. If you wish to cancel your reservation the day of your arrival you MUST contact the campground office 865-448-4103 in order to receive a refund.
• Rules and reservation policies can be found at https://www.recreation.gov/rules-reservation-policies
From Maryville, TN: Take U.S. 321 North (you’ll actually be driving south!) from Maryville to Townsend, TN (about 22 miles). At the traffic light in Townsend, continue straight on TN 73 and follow signs to Cades Cove.
From Pigeon Forge, TN take US 321 South (you’ll be driving westerly) to Townsend, TN. Turn left (south) at Townsend onto TN 73. Follow signs to Cades Cove.
865-448-4103 FOR AVAILABILITY AND TO MAKE A RESERVATION 877-444-6777Dawn_Pekarchick@nps.gov