One of the excursions on our weekend trip was to Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. In the 1800s and early 1900s this was a farming community. It is now preserved as a sort of "museum" for a trip into the past. Cades Cove is one of the most popular visitor destinations in the Great Smokies with two million visitors a year. We were among the thousands visiting last weekend. Check out these views!
It consists of an 11 mile loop, a one way paved road that winds through the community where you can see original log homes, barns, corn cribs, spring houses, mills, churches, etc. Wildlife here flourishes as you can see in these photos and the slide show. We saw more than twenty deer, a coyote, squirrels, and wild turkeys. Even though several black bears live here, we didn't see any.
First we visited the oldest cabin in Cades Cove, the John Oliver cabin, build in the 1820s. We went inside to see the fireplace and the upstairs loft. The logs were hewn out by hand. Gravity holds the logs together. Chinks were filled with mud to keep out the wind and weather. The rocks of the fireplace were also stuck together with mud.
After deer-watching for a while, we took a half mile hike up to the Elijah Oliver Place. (Elijah was John's son.) For a short distance the trail follows a beautiful stream, then winds through the woods. Here we visited the log house with attached "stranger room" for overnight visitors.
We didn't have time to hike to the waterfall or visit all the houses and cabins. But we did stop and take a look around the Tipton house, built in the 1870s. The Cantilever barn here is very interesting because of its large overhands. It uses balance for support. A buggy sits inside.
If you're in the Great Smoky Mountains I recommend a visit to Cades Cove, but be prepared for lots of other tourists, even in winter. It provides a visit to the past you'll not soon forget.
Here is a video slide show I made with more photos I took.
To learn more about Cades Cove please visit:
Cades Cove Website