Spence Field via Cades Cove

Townsend, Tennessee 37882

Spence Field via Cades Cove

Spence Field via Cades Cove Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Anthony Creek cascading over mossy boulders, cove forests carpeted in spring wildflowers, two Appalachian Trail shelters, big trees, great autumn foliage, and scenic
Spence Field all conspire to make this a terrific hike during any time of year.

It’s a popular one too, with Spence Field being a favorite destination of backcountry hikers. Count on meeting lots of other hikers during the summer and on weekends any time of year."

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Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Top Trails: Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 2nd Edition (Wilderness Press)
Johnny Molloy
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"This is a classic Smokies loop, done as either a dayhike or overnight adventure. Leave Cades Cove along scenic Anthony Creek. Rise to Bote Mountain, reaching Spence Field and the Appalachian Trail (AT). Gain views from what is left of Spence Field. Take the AT to Russell Field trail shelter. From there, it is downhill on slender Ledbetter Ridge. Finally rejoin Anthony Creek for the return trip to Cades Cove. Cool off during summer along Anthony Creek, then get breezes while in the high country. Fall and spring offer better views in addition to colorful foliage and wildflowers. Great photo opportunities are on this trail."

Spence Field via Cades Cove Trip Reports

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This was my sons favorite trips. Our trip got cut short due to bears so we only went to spence field and back spending 1 night half way to the shelter then a night at the shelter itself. The trail has plenty of shade, water, and Rocks. Plenty of ankle support is needed here. From the Anthony Creek trailhead it is uphill all the way to Spence field. There were not any big overlooks that the boys were looking forward to, but with most of the hike running next to the creek they had plenty to explore on the breaks. Since our trip was cut short we did take a side trip to Rocky Top which is well worth the trip with a fantastic almost 360 degree view from the top. This was also the busiest trail we've done, but it's nice to talk to hikers from all over and with different experience levels.

Spence Field via Cades Cove Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
7 hours to Overnight
Best seasons: Spring for the wildflowers, Oct for autumn foliage
Additional Use
Wildflowers, Views
Cades Cove and Thunderhead Mountain USGS quads; Trails Illustrated #229 Great Smoky Mountains; Trails Illustrated #316 Cades Cove Elkmon
Local Maps

Trail Log