Exploring Cades Cove

Once you book a stay in one of our cabins in Pigeon Forge and Wears Valley, you’ll want to take advantage of its proximity to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. One of the best and handiest ways to do that is to take a tour of the historic Cades Cove area of the park. Once a thriving rural community, Cades Cove was preserved with the formation of the national park, and today it serves as a time portal of sorts, where visitors can see how some of the area’s early settlers lived in harmony with their surroundings.

The easiest way to get to the cove is to take U.S. 321 to Townsend and turn left at the traffic light. From there, follow Highway 73 to Laurel Creek Road and turn right. That will take you directly to the entrance of the one-way auto loop road, which winds its way around the cove in an 11-mile loop.

Along the way you’ll see towering mountains, rolling and level valleys filled with deer and wild turkey, historic homesteads and churches. At the Cable Mill Visitor Center, you’ll want to stop and tour several other period structures that have been rebuilt on the site as well as a bookstore.

The tour also features several scenic nature walks and hiking trails, the most notable of which is the Abrams Falls trail. The fairly easy trail is a five-mile round trip hike that includes a stop at the beautiful 20-foot-tall Abrams Falls.

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