Drive of the day: Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The unseasonably warm weather of the past few months may have sparked your wanderlust. One of our favorite drives is to Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The 11-mile one-way loop gives visitors a glimpse of history. An inexpensive guide book is available at the ranger station just before you enter the loop road. Stop at the many historic cabins and churches along the loop road, and learn about what life was like when people inhabited the cove.
A number of hiking trails are available, including the ever-popular and easy-to-reach Abrams Falls. Be aware that some of the trails may be closed due to wildfire damage. Visit https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/cadescove.htm for closure information, and to learn more about Cades Cove.
On your way in or out of the park, be sure to spend time in Townsend. Whether you go tubing, horseback riding, bicycling, visit the Smoke Mountain Heritage Center or go shopping at the Apple Valley Country Store, there is something for everyone. Dinner at the Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro is a must, and The Chocolate Bar is great for coffee, handmade candy and homemade desserts.
Learn more about Townsend at www.smokymountains.org.