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Smoky Mountains’ Wildlife Viewing in Cades Cove

aerial view of downtown Gatlinburg
February 19, 2014

Elk in the wild

Cades Cove is an awe-inspiring valley and mountainous region filled with historic log cabins, one-room churches and industrial buildings, including a grist mill. The tranquil 6,800 acres hold more than just picturesque buildings. Now that spring is arriving, visitors can see the playful Smoky Mountain wildlife frolicking and exploring more than ever.

(See Related: Smoky Mountain Wildlife By the Numbers)

While in Cades Cove, most visitors hope to see a black bear. Now that warmer weather has begun to blanket the area, the black bears are poking their heads out and traveling in search of food after their long hibernation.

Other animals Cades Cove visitors might see are white tailed deer, which number to nearly 1,000, along with coyotes, red wolves and red foxes. In 2013, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park set a record by holding 120 total elk. Though mostly seen in the Cataloochee Valley area, they can sometimes be seen in other areas of the park as well.

Wildlife Viewing Tips

Since the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established in 1934, the National Park Service has protected the wildlife with Federal Regulations. To protect both the animals and the visitors, guests of the park should not be within 150 feet of a bear or elk while wildlife viewing.

Also, visitors are asked not to feed or touch any of the wildlife. Guests still love to take photos or watch the wildlife with binoculars. In some cases, visitors get a close view of deer and squirrels as they cross the Loop Road to reach the open pastures.

Since most animals are out at night, some of the best times to view wildlife are early in the mornings and at sunset.

To see these animals for yourself, Timber Tops Luxury Cabin Rentals offers a variety of Pigeon Forge cabins with stunning mountain views and relaxing amenities only minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Cades Cove. Call us today at (877) 549-6775 to reserve your next stay in the Smokies. Our reservationists will make sure to find the perfectly sized cabin in a convenient location to make your family’s next mountain getaway the best yet.

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