The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is accessible to even those with limited mobility. Part One, Cades Cove is an accessible area easily toured by auto!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Richard Weisser Realty

Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is accessible by autoA friend of mine is visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in October, and asked me about some of my favorite places. He added one caveat ...he needed to see the park sights within limited walking distance from the car.

This caught me a little by surprise, because most people ask about my favorite hiking trails. After thinking about it for some time, I realized that there are many amazing sights that can be seen without the need for hours of hiking along steep trails.

One of the most popular spots in the park is Cades Cove. Cades Cove is a great place to tour by auto. The eleven mile one way loop rode offers sweeping valley vistas, plentiful wildlife and historic structures.

Cades Cove has three historic churches and many graveyards that recall the names of the past inhabitants of the valley. In these quiet places you will find the final resting places of familiar names like Oliver, Cable and Tipton.

John Oliver cabin in Cades CoveHalfway around the loop is a Visitor's Center, where you can get more information about the park and lots of helpful information. There are also restrooms here that are easily accessible.

However, Cades Cove is so popular that traffic can move very slowly, and it can take up to five hours to do the loop during busy time. October is the busiest time, as crowds of visitors strain to see bears amidst the fall foliage.

No visit to the park is complete without a trip around the loop in Cades Cove. From the Townsend entrance, turn right at the "wye" and follow Laurel Creek Road 7 miles until you reach the cove. Arrive early, and plan on spending all day, as there is plenty to see and do!

Primitive Baptist Church in Cades Cove


Comments (12)

Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Richard, I never went there when I lived so close by, can you imagine that. I would love to go, based on your photos and descriptions. I have done the Skyline Drive thing, years ago, and of course went to the lookout in TN I think where you can see 4 states. But this is just spectacular. I am putting the Great Smoky Mountains on my bucket list, and you are on the bucket list as the tour guide!!!!

Sep 08, 2009 12:24 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Richard, just got back from a mini vacation in the Asheville, NC area. An extension of the Smokies, truly a beautiful site. A few more weeks and the colors will be in full bloom.

Sep 08, 2009 01:18 PM
Claude Cross
Homes By Cross, Inc. - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte NC Homes For Sale

Richard - Uhh.. I have been there but my pictures didn't turn out as well as yours. This area is Spectacular and I will add ... I am going back soon with a better camera. Cheers!

Sep 08, 2009 01:46 PM
Julie Dumaine-Russell
RE/MAX Alliance - Branford, CT

Richard - The only visit I've ever made to Georgia is to the Columbus area 7 years ago when my son was stationed at Fort Benning  From the map I just pulled up, it looks like we have driven right by where you are.   He may be transferred back there after the first of the year.  If we ever plan on making a road trip down there, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and YOU will be on our list of places to visit. 

Sep 08, 2009 01:52 PM
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


It's a second home to me. I love the Smokies as much as I love ActiveRain! Thanks mu friend.


Yes, October is just around the corner! I can't wait. THX

Claude ...

I have been taking photos there for over 30 years ... I still have thousands in storage! Thanks.

Sep 08, 2009 02:02 PM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Richard...I love the old cabin.  Many of our State and National parks are more freindly to the mobility challanged.   That is a good thing!

Sep 08, 2009 02:35 PM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Richard...congrats on the Ambassador flag!  Well earned and glad you took on that role!

Sep 08, 2009 02:36 PM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029


Richard, I really ♡ the Smokies. It has been a coons age since I have been to Cades Cove. I need to take another trip out there sometime soon...

Helping you live your American Dream... 


Sep 08, 2009 09:54 PM
Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Your Realtor Down the Shore!

Great information, many forget that accessibility issues govern so many lives.

Sep 08, 2009 10:56 PM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Thanks Richard.  I've hiked the Smokies off and on in my youth.  A really a nice area. 

Sep 08, 2009 11:53 PM
JL Boney, III
Coldwell Banker - Columbia, SC
Columbia, SC Real Estate

With as many times as I have been in that area, for some reason I have never made it to Cades Cove, but I certainly plan to see it some day.

Sep 09, 2009 03:45 AM
Don Rogers
Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield - O'Fallon, MO
Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes


I can hardly wait to read the rest of the articles that you will be doing.  I have let the little darling read this and she will be looking forward to the next installment.  I think that this is where we will be heading for one day anyway.  Then on to the next and so on......

Sep 09, 2009 12:49 PM