Rich Mountain Loop Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"This is a pleasant day hike that shows Cades Cove from a unique perspective, with a stop by the historic John Oliver cabin thrown in for good measure. Initially you’ll stay in the basin of the cove then climb up Rich Mountain to an inspiring overlook. After you top out on Rich Mountain, with good but interspersed views, you’ll circle back down on Crooked Arm Ridge Trail, completing the loop."
--Johnny Molloy, Day & Overnight Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Menasha Ridge Press).
"A great attribute of this hike is that you get to experience some of the beauty of Cades Cove without having to encounter the crowds that always seem to occur on the 11.0-mile loop road through the cove. Except for a short stretch at John Oliver Cabin, you’ll have this hike pretty much to yourself. Begin by walking the Cades Cove Loop Road. Just beyond the gate, Rich Mountain Loop Trail enters the woods on the right (north) side. The 1.4-mile stretch to John Oliver Cabin is an easy undulating course along the edge of cleared fields and in open forests with many standing dead trees. This is a great place to look for pileated and other woodpeckers. Even if you don’t see a pileated, there’s a good chance you’ll hear its junglelike call. About 0.5 mile into the hike, you pass Crooked Arm Ridge Trail. This is where you come out after completing the loop."
--Kevin Adams, Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Falcon Guides).
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