Cities Journal

A Beautiful Peaceful Valley In Tennessee

Cades Cove is no cove. As one of the most popular places at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it attracts millions of visitors each year.

Cades Cove is actually a forested Tennessee valley, surrounded by the mountains and is richly populated with historic settlers’ homesteads and diverse wildlife. The cove is also home to multiple caves. Gregory’s Cave served as a fallout shelter during the Cold War, ready to hold 1,000 people.

Touring the valley is only a question of how much time you are willing to spend: An 11-mile, one-way loop road encircles the area, which also has more than a dozen great hiking and horseback trails. Be on the lookout for the resident white-tailed deer, black bears, coyotes and turkeys.

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