Easy

5 miles up and back
Start: Trailhead exit at Cades Cove Loop Road (approximately 5.5 miles)
Features: Abram's Creek walkway and Abram's Falls
Caution: Slippery rocks around falls. Alternate route from Abram's Creek Ranger Station - 12 miles

 

When hiking in the National Park, no mountain equipment is needed. Comfortable walking shoes with extra socks or hiking boots are recommended for day walks. Be prepared for rain.

 

Always hike with a map, even if you think you know the route. Download a map for free www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/maps.htm, or visit any of the Park visitor centers to purchase a map for $1.

 

When planning a trip in the National Park, always check temporary road and facilities closures. www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm


Moderate

11 miles up and back
Start: Rich Mountain Rd. to Beard Cane Trail.
Features: Ace Gap, crossing of old railroad bed, Great Smoky Mountain National Park boundary and solitude. 

When hiking in the National Park, no mountain equipment is needed. Comfortable walking shoes with extra socks or hiking boots are recommended for day walks. Be prepared for rain.

 

Always hike with a map, even if you think you know the route. Download a map for free www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/maps.htm, or visit any of the Park visitor centers to purchase a map for $1.

 

When planning a trip in the National Park, always check temporary road and facilities closures. www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm

The Maryville Alcoa Greenway is a cooperative effort by the two cities and Blount County, Tenn., to connect existing parks with a paved foot and cycle path. There are numerous access points to the Maryville-Alcoa Greenway, including Maryville's parks: Sandy Springs, Pearsons Spring, Founders and Greenbelt. In Alcoa, access the greenbelt from Richard Williams Park and Hall and Springbrook parks. This trail is for all levels of experience. 

 

The 9-mile paved Maryville-Alcoa Greenway connects Springbrook Park in Alcoa with the Bicentennial Greenbelt and Sandy Springs Park in Maryville. From Alcoa, the greenway starts near the swimming pool at Springbrook Park, passes the schools, crosses Springbrook Road near Edison Road then follows Pistol Creek to Maryville. At the junction of the two cities, the greenway is marked as Mile 0. Heading north through Alcoa, the greenway travels for 5 miles. Southbound, the greenway goes 4 miles to and around Maryville. The greenway loops through each of the parks along the way with the exception of Sandy Springs. The greenway provides users with links to shopping districts, businesses, nature areas, fitness stations and picnic pavilions.

 

For more percise directions of the greenway, beginnning at Springbrook Park, located in Alcoa, which has a circular trail of 1.5 miles that features a pond, memorial trees, wildflowers, picnic tables, a playground and the Alcoa Swimming Pool. Parking and restrooms are provided next to a recreation building and pavilion with tennis courts, on Dalton St. Start near the swimming pool of the park,  passing Alcoa Elementary School and Alcoa High School, crosses Springbrook Rd. near Edison St. and continues beside Pistol Creek to Maryville.The Greenway joins the Bicentennial Greenbelt Park trail at the parking lot across from the Blount County Library.The path continues from Bicentennial Park, starting across Lamar Alexander Parkway from behind the Blount County Courthouse. The trail follows Pistol Creek, passing near Sam Houston Elementary School and Maryville Middle School to Sandy Springs Park. The Greenway starts again across the Best Street parking lot in Sandy Springs Park, continuing beside Pistol Creek and turning to follow Montgomery Lane to Mize Lane and Foothills Elementary School. 

 

A map of the Greenway can be downloaded here: www.knoxtrans.org/plans/bikeprog/resource.htm#maps

Cades Cove lies peacefully in a tranquil valley. It was home to hundreds of families before the formation of the Park. Open fields stretch between 5,000-foot mountain peaks. At Cable Mill Visitors Center there is a fully operational grist mill with a working waterwheel and other historic structures. Wednesdays and Saturdays from early May to late September the loop road is closed to motor vehicles until 10:00 a.m., allowing a safe, quiet experience for bicyclists, pedestrians, and the adventurist on horseback. Summer programs include apple butter making and performances in the amphitheater. Come by the Cades Cove Visitors Center, on the far end of the Loop Road, for more information.

Cades Cove is a broad, verdant valley surrounded by mountains and is the most visited part of this National Park, and 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.  (See Animal Safety & Precautions for information about observing wildlife peacefully and lawfully.)

Cades Cove offers the widest variety of historic buildings of any area in the National Park. Scattered along the loop road are three churches, a working grist mill, barns, log houses, and many other faithfully restored eighteenth and nineteenth century structures. An inexpensive self-guiding tour booklet available at the entrance to the road provides in-depth information about the buildings and the people who built and used them.

An 11-mile, one-way loop road circles the Cove, offering motorists the opportunity to sightsee at a leisurely pace. Allow at least two to four hours to tour Cades Cove, longer if you walk some of the area's trails. Traffic is heavy during the tourist season in summer and fall and on weekends year-round. While driving the loop road, please be courteous to other visitors and use pullouts when stopping to enjoy the scenery or view wildlife.

A visitor center (open daily), restrooms, and the Cable Mill historic area are located halfway around the loop road.

Seasonal Closures: 

Cades Cove Loop Road is closed to motor vehicles on Wednesday and Saturday mornings until 10:00 a.m. from May 8 through September 25 to allow bicyclists and pedestrians to enjoy the Cove. Otherwise the road is open daily from sunrise until sunset, weather permitting. (See Biking for more information about biking Cades Cove Loop Road.)


Access: Turn right from Smoky Mountain Visitor Center, 7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway. Follow Hwy. 73 to “Wye” intersection. Turn right and follow to Cades Cove. Parking available at Cades Cove Store.

Bicycles may be rented April through October at the Cades Cove Bike Shop (See Bicycle Tours & Rentals).

On Wednesdays and Saturdays, Memorial Day through Labor Day, the Loop Road is closed to autos from sunrise until 10 a.m. During this time it is bicycles and hikers only!

  • 11-mile loop
  • Great for all levels
Phone:
(865) 448-9034

Open every day except Christmas Day.

  • January 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • February 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • March 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • April - August 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
  • September - October 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • November 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • December 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.              

Location:

Inside the park near the mid-point of the 11-mile, one-way Cades Cove Loop Road.

Special Programs:

Ranger-led programs are conducted seasonally. Check at the visitor center for times.

Exhibits:

Indoor and outdoor exhibits of Southern Mountain life and culture; includes Cable Mill, a grist mill which operates spring through fall, the Becky Cable house, and other historic structures

Available Facilities:

Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop. Public restrooms.

 

Address:
10042 Campground Drive
National Park TN, 37882

Moderate

9 miles up and back
Start: Townsend “Wye” to Schoolhouse Gap Trail.
Features: Convenient to Townsend and excellent wildflower viewing. 

When hiking in the National Park, no mountain equipment is needed. Comfortable walking shoes with extra socks or hiking boots are recommended for day walks. Be prepared for rain.

 

Always hike with a map, even if you think you know the route. Download a map for free www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/maps.htm, or visit any of the Park visitor centers to purchase a map for $1.

 

When planning a trip in the National Park, always check temporary road and facilities closures. www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm

Easy

5 miles up and back
Start: Elkmont – Little River Trail to intersection with Cucumber Gap Trail.
Features: Beautiful river and easy family trail.

 

When hiking in the National Park, no mountain equipment is needed. Comfortable walking shoes with extra socks or hiking boots are recommended for day walks. Be prepared for rain.

 

Always hike with a map, even if you think you know the route. Download a map for free www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/maps.htm, or visit any of the Park visitor centers to purchase a map for $1.

 

When planning a trip in the National Park, always check temporary road and facilities closures. www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm

Turn off Little River Road toward Elkmont Campground and explore the community of rustic vacation homes dating from the early 1900's.  The Little River Trail leads up along the river, and you can do a 5 mile loop back by way of Cucumber Gap Trail to enjoy both the stream and many spring wildflowers.