Cades Cove Tennessee, the most visited area of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Located on the Tennessee side of the National Park approximately 31 miles away from Pigeon Forge, TN is known for its beautiful landscapes. This 6,800 acre valley was home to early settlers back in the 1800’s. Whether you are searching for a history lesson or wildlife during your vacation, Cades Cove Tennessee is definitely one to add to your families bucket list. You can choose to spend the day exploring, or you could spend a few days and still not cover everything! Join me while I share what Cades Cove Tennessee has to offer.

Horseback Riding in Cades Cove Tennessee

What better way to explore the ins and outs of Cades Cove than through a guided tour on a horse! Cades Cove Riding Stables offers a variety of guided tours. Horseback riding, carriage rides, and guided hay rides, something for each member of your family whether they are 1 or 100 years old! You can view more information about each type of tour on their website, including prices and if you need to schedule ahead of time. I have enjoyed an evening hayride in the Fall and not only was it very educational, it was absolutely beautiful!

History of Cades Cove Tennessee

Although there is no evidence of any significant settlement, Cherokee Indians hunted in Cades Cove for hundreds of years. Sometime between 1818 and 1821 is when the first European settlers arrived. By 1830 the population had grown to 271 people. If you would like to read more about the history of Cades Cove you can do so HERE.

Hiking in Cades Cove Tennessee

There are a plethora of hiking trails to choose from throughout the National Park and in Cades Cove. Choose your hike by difficulty and make sure you pack snacks, water, and a camera. You never know what you will discover while exploring different historical sites and structures. We’ve talked about a few hiking trails in another post. Be sure to check out some of our other blogs!

Biking in Cades Cove Tennessee

On Wednesday and Saturday mornings from early May thru late September, the Cades Cove Loop Road is closed to motor vehicles until 10a.m.. This allows visitors to bicycle or walk along the road without worrying about traffic. Something about the quiet and peacefulness of riding quietly through the National Park sounds therapeutic. You can bring your own bicycles or you can rent them from the Cades Cove Campground Store and Bike rental. Be sure to check out their ice cream, it’s the BEST!

Camping/Picnic Area at Cades Cove Tennessee

If you want to stay in Cades Cove for more than one day, I would recommend staying at their campground. With over 159 sites to choose from, you can stay in a tent or RV (up to 35ft long). The Camp store is close by for souvenirs and food/snacks you may have left at home (don’t forget about the ice cream)! The campground is open year round and you can visit to reserve a site. My husband and I have camped here a few times and it has been a great experience. This says a lot as I am not much of a camper, but as long as there is a normal bathroom I am good! 

Wildlife in Cades Cove Tennessee

 The rich history and historical sites are not the only thing that make Cades Cove popular. Wildlife sightings bring visitors from all over with their camera in tow, hoping to catch a glimpse of a wildlife animal in their natural habitat. Some of the wildlife you can hope to see are white-tailed deer, black bears, coyotes, turkeys, and more. This of course can be exciting, however, please make sure you are educated and safe. We do not want to harm the animals or anyone else. You can view some wildlife viewing tips HERE.

No doubt about it, Cades Cove is full of fun and educational things to do for your family. It is one of those destinations you can come to over and over and see and experience something new each time. Whichever activity you choose to embark on, you are bound to create memories that will last a lifetime on your Pigeon Forge vacation.