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 heritage of settlers who called Cades Cove their home. Several homes and churches in the Cove date as far back as the early 1800s.
Photo opportunities 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 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.

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

Explore Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains


Cades Cove Points of Interest


Cable Mill Historic AreaAbout the Cable Mill Historic Area in Cades Cove


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 are a cantilever barn, an 1879 home, a blacksmith shop, and a smokehouse.

constructed in 1868. John P. Cable (1819–1891), a nephew of Peter Cable, had to construct a series of elaborate diversions along Mill Creek and Forge Creek to get enough water power for the mill's characteristic overshot wheel.