Cades Cove

Cherokee, North Carolina

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5 Reviews
5 out of 5
Hundreds of thousands of tourists come to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park each year, and almost every one of them takes the 11-mile paved Cades Cove Loop Road, either motor or non-motorized vehicles. Sixteen (16!) different bodies of water cross under your fat tires: Feezell, Tater, and Cooper Branches, just to name a few. With all the water and wide open pasture, you're likely to see deer by the herds and turkeys by the flocks. The black bears love it in Cades Cove as well, so don't be surprised to catch to see one passing by. Despite this ride's paved surface, a trip to the Great smoky Mountains is not complete without making this loop; park officials recognize this by restricting trail use at certain times to bikes only - dawns on Wednesdays and Saturday, plus specially arranged full-moon rides.

Cades Cove Professional Review and Guide

"Hundreds of thousands of tourists come to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park each year, and almost every one of them takes the 11-mile paved Cades Cove Loop Road, either motor or non-motorized vehicles. Sixteen (16!) different bodies of water cross under your fat tires: Feezell, Tater, and Cooper Branches, just to name a few.

With all the water and wide open pasture, you're likely to see deer by the herds and turkeys by the flocks. The black bears love it in Cades Cove as well, so don't be surprised to catch to see one passing by. Despite this ride's paved surface, a trip to the Great smoky Mountains is not complete without making this loop; park officials recognize this by restricting trail use at certain times to bikes only - dawns on Wednesdays and Saturday, plus specially arranged full-moon rides."

Activity Type: Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Cherokee
Distance: 11
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Technical Difficulty: Moderate
Physical Difficulty: Moderate
Season: Spring through fall, periods of snow and ice will cause closing of trails.
Local Contacts: Cades Cove District Ranger, 423-448-4105.
Local Maps: Great Smoky Mountains Trail Map.
Driving Directions: Directions to Cades Cove

Recent Trail Reviews

10/5/2006
0

Used our road bikes to bike this 11 mile loop. Saw bears, turkey, deer, and other wildlife. My girlfriend even had a bear run in front of her while she was riding (talk about unique road hazards!) Best to ride early in the morning when more animals are out and the traffic has yet to arrive. It is best to stay in Townsend, TN as this saves at least 1/2 hour of time to get to the trail. This is a critical head-start on the traffic. Though the loop is paved, there is no paved shoulder which makes it more difficult to bike in heavy traffic. The traffic is slow and for the most part respects bikers and animals. There are some dirt roads that cross the loop or branch off from it. You may want to consider using a mountain bike for the ride so that you can access these roads. You can use a road bike but you will be restricted to the loop. I would recommend bringing a bike lock so you can get off your bikes and hike into the woods or check out other attractions along the way without worrying about your bikes. Lots to see, both natural and man-made. I will be back!


8/25/2006
0

I've lost track of exactly how many times I have biked this loop. It's a pretty easy ride. Put your bike in a lower gear and the hills won't be a problem. I highly recommend going early morning or late evening. On Wednesday and Saturday mornings the road is closed to cars until 10:00am, so you can beat the traffic if you go before then. After that time, you'll be sucking exhaust. I have become of a fan of late evening/midnight rides around the cove. (Just make sure you have a light. Even when the moon is full, there are some places you will need it.) This last trip as I was heading on the straight-away just past the Abrams Falls trailhead parking area, I passed about 12 deer grazing on the side of the road. The wildlife is more active in the mornings and evenings.


5/29/2006
0

Great loop to bike just watch out for the cars because they will stop or slow down at any time. I would highly recommend biking this trail so you can take your time and enjoy the views. I would be careful taking kids biking because of all the traffic but most vehicles are moving slow. Lots of wildlife. If you stay in the park showers can be found in Treemont just 9 miles away. It was $7 for a shower and the list of providers was given to me by a ranger at the campgound check-in.


5/22/2004
0

10/31/2002
0

No technical stuff here - but one the best nature bike rides around. I went at sunrise and saw hundres of deer and turkey, black bear in the trees. There is a gravel road that cuts across the cove on the back side, I saw the bears near the creek on that road. The old cabins, graveyards and barns are interesting. Go early to beat the cars or on the mornings it is closed to motor vehicles. Way to crowded with cars and RVs during the late morning and afternoons.



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May 2018