Cades Cove

One of the most popular destinations in all of the Great Smoky Mountains is Cades Cove. This area offers a great opportunity to experience the lifestyle, traditions and the heritage of settlers who called Cades Cove their home. Several homes and churches in the Cove date as far back as the early 1800's.

Photo opportunties are abundant in Cades Cove. It is five miles long , nearly two miles wide and almost perfectly flat. Surrounded by beautiful mountain vistas and featuring lush open meadows, many visitors  see deer, bear, wild turkey, coyotes and other wildlife roaming freely in their natural surroundings.

The Cades Cove auto tour is an 11 miles, one way loop road. You should allow 2 to 4 hours of time for a trip to the cove, maybe longer if you plan to hike, explore, and visit the historic buildings.

Poplutation: It is believed that at one time, there were 700 or so residents that lived in Cades Cove.

Points of Interest in Cades Cove

Here is a list of the most popular structures in Cades Cove that are worth visiting. Each one tells it's own story of life in Cades Cove and living in the 17th and 18 centuries.

John Oliver Place

This historic log home was built around 1820 by John Oliver. No nails were used to build the cabin and mud was used for insulation.

Primitive Baptist Church

Constructed in 1887, the Primitive Baptist Church closed during the civil war. Some of the early settlers of Cades Cove lie in the cemetery nearby.

Methodist Church

Built for only $115 in 1902, the Methodist Church was built by J.D. McCampbell. After its contruction, he served many years as its minister. 

Missionary Baptist Church

Established in 1839, the Missionary Baptist Church was formed by previous members of the Primitive Baptist Church. Like many other churches in Cades Cove, the Missionary Baptist Church ceased to meet during the Civil War.

Elijah Oliver Place

The son of John Oliver, Elijah Oliver was born in the Cove in 1824. This historical homesite features Elijah's home, springhouse, smokehouse, corncrib and barn.

Cable Mill Historic Area

At the Cable Mill, you will also find the Cades Cove Visitor Center and restrooms. The mill operates from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. mid-March through November.  Located near the mill is a cantilever barn, 1879 home, blacksmith shop, and a smokehouse.

Henry Whitehead Place

Henry built this home from square-sawed logs that are 4 inches thick. This hybrid home was only one of 3 of it's kind built in Cades Cove and is the only one still standing.

Dan Lawson Place

Dan Lawson built his home in Cades Cove in 1856. It's brick chimney was made from bricks made on site and was constructed before sawmills came to the cove. There is a granary and smokehouse near the home as well.

Tipton Place

Built in the early 1870's by "Colonel Hamp" Tipton, this authentic log home also features a smokehouse and woodshed. Across the street from the Tipton Place is a double-pen corn crib and cantilever barn.

Carter Shields Cabin

A wound suffered by Carter Shields left him crippled for life. He purchased this property in 1910. Sheilds only lived here till 1921, 10 years after it's construction.


Cades Cove Visitor's Center Information

January 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
February 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
March 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
April - August 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
September - October 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
November 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
December 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Inside the park near the mid-point of the 11-mile, one-way Cades Cove Loop Road.

Special Programs
Ranger-led programs are conducted seasonally. Check at the visitor center for times.

Indoor and outdoor exhibits of Southern Mountain life and culture. Includes Cable Mill, a grist mill which operates spring through fall, the Becky Cable house, and other historic structures. 

Available Facilities
Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop. Public restrooms.