5 Tips For Having an Amazing Trip to Cades Cove

A scenic road in Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

One of the most popular places to visit in all of the Smoky Mountains is the beautiful valley called ​Cades Cove​. It’s about an hour drive from our hotel, but that never seems to bother visitors when they know what to expect from this natural wonder. We’d like to give you some helpful tips that’ll ensure you have the best possible experience!

1. Go Early

We advise that you start your day early when visiting this nature’s playground. Traffic can be a bear in the middle of the day at Cades Cove, and getting a head start can really help keep your stress level at zero. We know it’s vacation, but set that alarm before the sun rises and eat a hearty breakfast before venturing out for that special adventure that you’ve been seeking!

2. Take a Hike to Abrams Falls

Abrams Falls in Smoky MountainsSince you started your day a little early, you can also take a hike while you’re visiting Cades Cove. Located about 5 miles from the start of the loop, the ​Abrams Falls Trail​ is about 5 miles in length. Abrams Falls itself is a beautiful display of water 20 feet high, known for its high volume of rushing water rushing over the sandstone cliff. There’s also a nice beach area where you can sit and stare at the magnificent Smoky Mountain waterfall.

3. Show Respect to Others

After a hike to the astonishing Abrams Falls, you’ll probably notice that traffic has increased on this one-way loop road. It’s important to show the proper respect for other visitors who, just like you, want to have a relaxing vacation visiting this park wonder. If you need to take pictures, or see some wildlife nearby, there’s room to pull off to the side to let others go around. There’s certainly no need for road rage here!

4. Stop at the Historic Buildings

Historic buildings in Cades Cove on a cloudy day.You’ll get a real sense of the history of this area by visiting many of the buildings that have been preserved at Cades Cove. In fact, this is one of the largest areas of historic buildings in the entire national park. The amazement will continue once you set foot inside these old cabins and barns; you can even walk inside a church with a cemetery you’ll need to visit too! You don’t need to be a history buff to appreciate these sites.

5. Be Safe in Viewing Wildlife

Finally, wildlife is an important subject when it comes to visiting the national park — not just Cades Cove. You will have the opportunity to see black bears, white-tailed deer, wild turkey and more. Chances are good you’ll see a black bear while you’re here, but make sure you stay at least 50 yards away for obvious safety reasons. These are wild animals, and you don’t want to do anything that might harm you or the bear. Remember not to feed them!

If you follow these tips for your visit to Cades Cove, not only will you have a wonderful experience, you’ll also look forward to future visits. At Black Bear Inn & Suites, you can also count on a fantastic time, so make sure you ​book your room​. We know you’ll be comfortable while staying at our hotel!