6 Top Things to See in Cades Cove

Visiting Cades Cove for the first time means you’ll have tons to see and do. To help you prioritize how you spend your trip, we’ve collected six of top things you must see while you’re here. You’ll thank us later!

Top Things to See in Cades Cove

1) The Black Bears

cades cove black bears

The Smoky Mountain area has one of the largest protected areas in the eastern U.S. where black bears can live. For that reasons, black bears can be found at all elevations around the national park and there are more 1,500 of them around the area.

2) Tuckaleechee Caverns


Welcome to the underbelly of earth’s oldest mountain chains – also known as the “greatest site under the Smokies.” These caverns are between 20 to 30 million-years-old and contain beautiful cave-onyx formations that can be 12 feet high and six inches across!

3) Spruce Flats Falls

These waterfalls will take your breath away. Plus, the hiking trail to reach them is just 2-miles roundtrip.

4) Rockefeller Monument

The Rockefeller monument stands in honor of Rockefeller’s wife, Laura Spelman, who helped purchase the land for the park. This two-tiered stone-structure now sits on Newfound Gap.

5) John P. Cable Mill

In Cades Cove there were few sources of power which the frontiersman knew how to harness. One of those power sources was the water wheel such as drove the early grist mills. Cable Mill is one of those. The Smoky Mountains Natural History Association keeps Cable Mill running in Cades Cove to teach the Smoky Mountain visitor a little about life in the 1800’s. The mill is operated April-October.

6) Clingmans Dome Observational Lookout

See 6,645 feet above the valley of the Great Smoky National Park. You’ll stand on one of the highest peaks east of the Mississippi where you will get a 360-degree view of the park.

If you need any other help planning your vacation to Cades Cove, feel free to check out what else is nearby or to explore our other blogs articles. We can’t wait for you to experience all that there is to see here!

Author: Cades Cove

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