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CADES COVE is the perfect spot to fall in love with the Smokies and to learn a lot about mountain history! The scenery here is absolutely beautiful! It's the best place to see wildlife in their natural habitat, and become surrounded by exciting things to see and do!! If you enjoy hiking, you're going to love visiting here. The hiking area of the National Park is filled with the best trails in the world! Some of the National Park's best hiking is in this area! You'll find at least a dozen or more trails including the Cades Cove Nature Trail, Cane Creek, and Hannah Mountain. If you're into camping, you have access to an excellent campground facility as well!
These mountains are filled with historical landmarks and interesting stories! For me, the supremacy of God's strength is powerful here! You'll sense it too! These majestic mountains stand forceful and strong, yet gentle, producing a soothing peace for the soul!
In 1850, over 650 people lived in this area. They worked, played, and made a life for their loved ones here much like we do today! They planted gardens, and referenced God in a mighty way! It wasn't until ten years later that the western frontier opened. More than half of the community moved forward to start what they considered at that time to be a better life. As we visit today, we imagine how wonderful it must have been to live here. In some ways it would be much easier to come back and live this simple life as they did over a 100 years ago.
Back in the 1800's, this 4,000- acre community had five churches! Three of those five churches still stand today! The oldest is the Primitive Baptist Church, built in 1827. During the Civil War the Confederates came so close that the church closed its doors because it was no longer considered safe to worship there. Much history is to be discovered within the wJust walking through the door makes you want to hear some of that good old spirit-filled, Bible-thumping-preaching alive with sacred hymns giving you a taste of that "ole time religion!" Much of the community is still standing today! Experience for yourself how these pioneers lived! Walk through their old home-places, some of which still have smokehouses, and barns. Many of the landmarks also have markers telling the history behind all of these churches and the burial grounds surrounding them.
The best way to take advantage of everything to see is to drive the loop. This 11 mile (one-way) winding road takes you through beautiful mountain scenery. You'll see lots of wildlife like the elk, fox, deer, and the ever-popular black bear. The drive is around 2 hours long, depending upon traffic. There are places to pull over, enjoy the scenery, and take photos. From May to September, only bicycles and foot traffic are allowed on the loop before 10:00 A.M. A Visitor's Center and restrooms are available at the halfway point.