Going for a joyride takes on a whole new meaning here in Cades Cove. Especially when you head out on the Cades Cove Scenic Loop. Here, you will drive through 11 miles of trees, wildlife, and historic sites. The picturesque experience takes some time though. So, we suggest just trying to savor the 2-4 hours it may take to complete the loop.
The winding roads will take you through some amazing sights, including, many historic landmarks that you have to see. About halfway through the drive, we recommend making a pit-stop to see the water powered grist mill near the Visitor’s Center. You also pass by 19th-century churches during you drive as well as log cabins, cantilever barns, and many restored homes.
See wildlife and native animals
Keep an eye out for white tailed deer, coyote, wild turkeys, elk, fox, and, of course, black bears.
There’s no reason to contain your trip to the car. Feel free to get out and stretch your legs along the drive. There will be plenty of look out points and rest areas – the perfect excuse for a photo op!
If you plan on enjoying the scenic drive, we recommend packing a picnic to help you enjoy the scenic beauty of the area and to make the trip a bit more memorable. You’ll never forget enjoying lunch next to a beautiful view of the valley – we promise! Or, choose to end your drive by going on a hike at Abram Falls. While you there, you can begin your trip at the orientation shelter where you can ask park rangers and staff any questions before beginning your journey.