Cades Cove Hiking

Things To Do

Located at the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cades Cove is a hiking destination in the Southeast with trails fit for every kind of adventurer. Whether you’re looking for a one-mile or 70-mile hike, you will surely find a trail perfect for you.

Cades Cove is one of the most beautiful hiking destinations in the southeastern United States. It’s located at the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, just a short drive away from Townsend. There are a wide range of hikes accessible in this location, ranging from short, easy hikes that are perfect for families to more difficult trails that take you through a range of terrain and give you the opportunity to see stunning wildlife.

Here are some of our recommendations for hiking destinations. If you’re adventuring with us, be sure to always hike with a buddy and carry plenty of water.


If you visit the park during the spring, you will get to see a beautiful display of natural wildflowers that come into bloom. Many of these trails have easy, accessible terrain that is appropriate for hikers of any skill level. The Schoolhouse Gap Trail is one of the most popular for wildflower seeking and is a great place to start. There are also several historic buildings you will encounter as you explore Cades Cove – be sure to venture in and get a taste of the area’s past. You’ll also see a fascinating variety of local animals in the park, like charming wild turkeys.

There are a huge number of hikes to choose from in the area, so you should review the trail map before you begin to decide on a route of an appropriate skill level. Once you venture further into the park, you will encounter stunning vistas with beautiful views, and you might even reach a beautiful waterfall. Be sure to bring enough water and hike with a friend – there’s so much to see that you could be out here for hours. Keep in mind that most of the trails do not allow you to bring pets because of the existing wildlife in the park. However, some trails do allow you to bring dogs, so just be sure to check the requirements ahead of time.

With over 780 miles of hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Cades Cove is the perfect place to start. You’ll get to experience all of the natural beauty that Tennessee has to offer, and whether you’re an experienced hiker or not, you’ll be sure to enjoy the gorgeous views.


Every year between March and July, the Smoky Mountains displays more than 1,500 species of beautiful wildflowers. If you’re looking for a wildflower-heavy hike, take a look at the list we’ve put together below. We especially recommend the Schoolhouse Gap Trail, an easy 2.2-mile hike that begins a few miles off the road leading to Cades Cove that displays colorful spring and summer flowers.



To explore more trails in our area, we recommend using this resource from →

Smoky Mountain Outdoor Center 209 Wears Valley Road (865) 448-6090

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