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Beautiful photo of Cades Cove in winter covered in frost.
November 25, 2015

Cades Cove is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Cades Cove is a broad, verdant valley surrounded by mountains, creating amazing views that you won’t want to miss. This 11-mile, one-way loop road circles the cove, offering motorists the opportunity to sightsee at a leisurely pace. You need to allow at least 2 to 4 hours to tour Cades Cove, longer if you wish to walk some of the area’s trails. However, what many people don’t realize is the beautiful hidden wonders of Cades Cove in winter. Here ways to enjoy Cades Cove in winter.

1. Historical Sites

Snow covered cabin and fence in Cades Cove in winter.

The Cades Cove valley is full of amazing history, and that history doesn’t disappear just because the winter season has rolled in. For hundreds of years, Cherokee Indians hunted in Cades Cove. The first Europeans settled in the cove between 1818 and 1821. By 1830, the population of the area grew to 271 and Cades Cove offers the widest variety of historic buildings of any area in the national park. During your visit to Cades Cove in winter, you can view 3 churches, a working grist mill, barns, log houses, and many other faithfully restored eighteenth and nineteenth century structures.

2. Hiking Trails

Hiking is a big part of the Smoky Mountain and Cades Cove experience. Luckily for you, Cades Cove is full of many incredible hiking trails to explore this winter. One of the best Cades Cove in winter hiking spot is Abrams Falls. Abrams Falls is only 20 feet high, the large volume of water rushing over falls more than makes up for its lack of height. At the bottom of the waterfall is a long, deep makes for a breathtaking view. Throughout the year, this breathtaking view is something you don’t want to miss out on. The trail to the falls goes through the woods of the Smoky Mountains. The hike is 5 miles roundtrip and is considered moderate in difficulty. The turnoff for the trailhead is located past stop #10 on the Cades Cove Loop Road.

3. Wildlife Viewing

A deer standing in Cades Cove in winter.

Cades Cove has plenty of wildlife for you to view during your trip to Cades Cove in winter. Wildlife viewing is one of the excitements of visiting the Smoky Mountains because you never know what you are going to see. You could be driving along and then all of a sudden there is a bear or deer right on the side of the road, ready for its camera shots for you to show to your friends and family after your trip to the area. Some of the frequently sighted wildlife include whitetail deer, black bears, coyotes, turkeys and various other types of wildlife.

Cades Cove in winter is a magical experience, you never know what you will see during your trip to the area, but you are guaranteed to have an amazing time there. To ensure you get to see all that Cades Cove in winter has to offer, check out our Gatlinburg cabin rentals that are very close to Cades Cove.

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