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CADES COVE CAMPGROUND, TN

part ofGreat Smoky Mountains National Park, National Park Service
Photo: CADES COVE CAMPGROUND
Status: Open year round.   Season Dates
 

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.

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.

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 combines the feel of primitive camping with the modern convenience of flush toilets and drinking water. 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.

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.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Flush Toilets
  • Accessible Sites
  • Amphitheater
  • Bike Rentals
  • Birding
  • Drinking Water
  • Dump Station
  • Emergency Phone
  • Fire Rings
  • Fishing
  • Flush Toilets
  • General Store
  • Hiking
  • Historic Sites
  • Horse Rentals
  • Horseback Riding
  • Horseback Riding Trails
  • Host
  • Interpretive Programs
  • Interpretive Trails
  • Parking Area
  • Pay Phone
  • Picnic Area
  • Ranger Station
  • Riding Stable
  • River Access
  • Trails
  • Wildlife Viewing
Know Before You Go
  • Bear Habitat!!
    • All food and items used to store or prepare food, including coolers, MUST be stored in the trunk or cab of your vehicle/s at all times when not in use.
    • Dispose of garbage promptly in bear-proof dumpsters.
    • This rule is strictly enforced!


  • Firewood Quarantines are in effect!
    • The possession of any firewood originating from any location for which a federal or state firewood quarantine is in effect is prohibited. The movement of firewood into the park from counties adjacent to the park for which a federal or state quarantine is in place is prohibited even if the quarantine allows for movement within the county.
    • Firewood which bears a USDA or a state certificate or which is purchased from a park concessionaire is allowed.
    • The National Park Service STRONGLY discourages the movement of firewood from one location to another.
    • This rule is strictly enforced!
    • Proposed Regulation Change: The Park is proposing to allow only USDA or state certified heat-treated wood to be brought into the park for campground fires beginning in March 2015. More details are available on the park website at www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/firewood-alert.htm.
    • Help protect the park and chose to bring only heat-treated wood on your next visit!

  • There are no showers or electric, water or sewer hook-ups in the park. Some accessible sites have a 5 amp electric hookup for medical equipment use.
  • Quiet hours are in effect from 10 PM to 6 AM. Generator use is restricted to 8 AM to 8 PM. Some campgrounds have generator free sections.
  • Fires are allowed in fire rings only!
  • A maximum of 6 people may occupy a campsite. The park stay limit is 14 consecutive days. Reservations which exceed the 14 consecutive day limit may be cancelled and refunded.
  • A Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license is required to fish in the park. Special regulations apply in the park.
  • Pets are permitted but cannot be left unattended. All pets must be kept on a leash at all times. Pets are not allowed on trails.
  • Cades Cove and Smokemont campgrounds are the only campgrounds open year round.
  • For additional park information call 865-436-1200 or visit www.nps.gov/grsm
  • Getting There:

    GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
    35.6025, -83.77667
    35°36'9"N, 83°46'36"W

    From Maryville, TN: Take U.S. 321 North (you'll actually be driving south!) from Maryville to Townsend, TN (about 22 miles). At the traffic light in Townsend, continue straight on TN 73 and follow signs to Cades Cove.

    From Pigeon Forge, TN take US 321 South (you'll be driving westerly) to Townsend, TN. Turn left (south) at Townsend onto TN 73. Follow signs to Cades Cove.

    Contact Information:

    Mailing Address:

    CADES COVE CAMPGROUND
    10042 Campground Drive
    Townsend  TN  37882

    Phone Number:

    Information:  (865)448-2472
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