Cades Cove

We just wrapped up a fun-filled little jaunt to the mountains of East Tennessee.  One of our favorite places to go in the mountains is Cades Cove.  (You can read about our last trip here.)

Forgive me for the sheer volume of pictures you’re about to see.

We ran by Kentucky Fried Chicken on the way and picked up the makings for a picnic.  They have a large picnic area and stream.  The girls had a ball playing in the stream while we got the picnic ready. A few of our favorite friends met us for the picnic and trip through Cades Cove.

Cades Cove is a great place to picnic!


In the creek at Cades Cove
 Playing in the creek at Cades Cove!  It is a wonderful and free place to visit!

Even little Tyler got in on the action…

Cades Cove TN

Once we entered the actual park, we hiked up the trail to the John Oliver house.  It was only a 1/4 of a mile each way.

John Oliver House Hike in Cades Cove


Historic Home in Cades Cove
Horsing around in Cades Cove


John Oliver House in Cades Cove TN
We loaded back up in the car and continued around the Cove.
Cades Cove

We went into one of the old churches…

Church in Cades Cove
Cades Cove Church Interior

This deer was standing right next to the road munching.  I was only 10 feet away from this deer when I snapped this picture.  We also saw a bear on this trip but I didn’t get a good picture of it.

Wild deer in Cades Cove


These girls just had the best time seeing each other again.

Cades Cove TN Rock


Cades Cove Nature Center Home


Cades Cove Mill

This is the 1820 version of a McMansion.

Cades Cove McMansion

This was the only house in the cove that we saw with painted rooms.

Cades Cove Fireplace

Mom.  Dad.  Smiling.  Holding hands?  I’m so confused.

Strolling through Cades Cove

I love these sweet girls!

Cades Cove Visitors Center

I think this is proof that a good time was had by all!

Cades Cove wore her out!

Here are a few tips if you’d like to visit the Cove:

  • Wear good shoes.  It’s a lot of walking to some of the houses.  A few are right on the road through the cove though if you’re not able to walk very far.
  • I wish I had brought an additional pair of water shoes for the girls.  They had a ball playing in the creek.
  • Bring a picnic!  The only food for sale is in the little snack bar at the visitor’s center as you enter or exit Cades Cove.
  • There is a waterfall hike in the Cove but I’ve never braved it.  It’s over 5 miles round trip.  They recommend that visitors do NOT swim at the waterfall.  The water is rough and there have been many drownings.
  • Sometimes traffic can back up as you drive through if there is a wild animal on the side of the road.  Even though the road through is only 9 miles it can take up to an hour to get through if you don’t stop for any of the trails.
  • Bring your camera! We have seen bear, deer and turkeys during our visits.  Use good judgement in getting near the animals.  They are real, living and wild animals.
  • There are restrooms in the visitor’s center, at the start of the Abram’s Falls trail and at the Nature center.  However, the ones at Abram’s Falls were a little too “port-a-john-ish” for me.  The Nature Center and visitor center both have “real” bathrooms.

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