Cades Cove Campground

Townsend, Tennessee

Overview

Over 2 million visitors annually come to enjoy the scenic beauty of Cades Cove and its many historic structures. Popular activities here include hiking, biking, touring the 11-mile Cades Cove loop road and observing wildlife.

Whether blanketed in bright wildflowers in the spring or vivid colors in the fall, the scenery at Cades Cove never disappoints.

Recreation

The Great Smoky Mountains are a hikers paradise and visitors to Cades Cove Campground love the 5-mile roundtrip hike to Abram Falls. From Cades Cove Loop Road, follow the signage at the turnoff for directions to the trailhead.

Although Abrams Falls is only 20 feet high, the large volume of water rushing over falls more than makes up for its lack of height. The long, deep pool at its base is very picturesque. The trail to the falls traverses pine-oak forest on the ridges and hemlock and rhododendron forest along the creek. The waterfall and creek are named for Cherokee Chief Abram or Abraham whose village once stood several miles downstream.

A nearby horse stable provides one-hour horseback rides as well as hay rides and carriage rides from March through October, offering recreational activities for the entire family.

Campers can also enjoy high-quality backcountry fishing in the cool waters of the countless streams and rivers that snake through the mountains, with trout available in abundance.

Facilities

Cades Cove Campground is open year round and combines the feel of primitive camping with the modern convenience of flush toilets and drinking water. During peak season (May - October) a camp store provides visitors with basic necessities as well as bike rentals.
Events like Interpretive Programs in the nearby amphitheater and Bicycle Only Days on the loop road provide visitors with a fun and unique experience.
From November 1 through the Sunday after Thanksgiving sites B1-B42 can be reserved while B43-B85 will be first come-first serve campsites. From November 1 through May 14 sites C1-C37 and C62-C76 will be first come first serve while sites C38-C61 are available year round for advance reservations. Please visit www.nps.gov/grsm for up to date information on campgrounds, road and weather conditions in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Natural Features

Cades Cove is a broad, verdant valley surrounded by mountains and is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smokies. It offers some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing in the park.

Large numbers of white-tailed deer are frequently seen, and sightings of black bear, coyote, ground hog, turkey, raccoon, skunk, and other animals are also possible.

For hundreds of years Cherokee Indians hunted in Cades Cove but archeologists have found no evidence of major settlements. The first Europeans settled in the cove sometime between 1818 and 1821. By 1830 the population of the area had already swelled to 271.

Nearby Attractions

The park holds one of the best collections of log buildings in the eastern United States. Over 90 historic structures, including houses, barns, outbuildings, churches, schools and grist mills, have been preserved or rehabilitated in the park, a few of which are easily accessible from the Cades Cove loop road.

Townsend, located about nine miles away, offers full service grocery stores and fuel.

Charges & Cancellations

   • If you plan to arrive at a date later than your arrival date you MUST contact the campground office 865-448-4103 in order to avoid a cancellation to your reservation. If you wish to cancel your reservation the day of your arrival you MUST contact the campground office 865-448-4103 in order to receive a refund.

• Rules and reservation policies can be found at https://www.recreation.gov/rules-reservation-policies

 

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Adventures Nearby

  • Hike Rich Mountain Loop

    Park at the Cades Cover Information Kiosk. The trailhead is just down the road from here. At 4.2 miles you'll arrive at the Rich Mountain Trail junction. Stay to the right here and continue along the Indian Grave Gap Trail. In less than two miles ...

    8.5 miles 1736 ft gain

  • Backpack to Spence Field

    Start your hike at Anthony Creek Trailhead (elevation 1,800 ft), in the Cade’s Cove area. The trailhead is located at the far end of the day-use picnic area near Cade’s Cove campground. There are a few parking spots right at the trailhead, but not...

    13.8 miles 3100 ft gain

  • Bike Cade's Cove Loop

    Cade's Cove is a valley located smack in the middle of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Feel free to drive the 11 mile loop in the day, but if you're really cool, you'll schedule your trip around a full moon so you can bike under the light...