Cades Cove, a trip to the past

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


Deborah Brent said...

Those are beautiful pics. It is a little early for the bears. You should be able to see mommas and cubs in April or May. They look cute an cuddly, but don't try to pet or feed them. The momma will take your arm off. The creeks are ice cold, even in August. Pleas, don't ask me how I know. Just take my word for it.

Deborah Brent

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

Very cool, Vonda. I enjoyed your post and the pix. :)

Randy said...

Ah...beautiful, Vonda! I'm at the day job, and watching this slide show just lowered my blood pressure a couple of notches.

Lexi said...

Wow! Gorgeous shots!

Nita Wick said...

I love Cade's Cove! One of my favorite places is the little church. The old church is really cool, but (and this may sound a little morbid) the best thing about it was the little cemetery behind it. It was amazing reading all those hand carved stones from a century ago.

I live in Southern Tennessee. Cade's Cove is only a couple hours away. We've visited several times. :)

Vonda Sinclair said...

Thanks everyone for taking a look at my pics!

Deborah, I'd love to see the bears but I'm definitely afraid of them!! Went camping once and couldn't sleep for the terror a bear would rip into the tent. LOL Because we have some pass through our area too. I love those ice cold mountain streams too. Don't tell me someone pushed you in. :-)

Carol, thanks for visiting! Glad you liked them.

Randy, I'm so happy I lowered your blood pressure! :-) I always like to be helpful.

Thanks for the compliments, Lexi! I'm glad you liked them!

How cool, Nita, that you've visited Cades Cove several times. I just realized I live about 2 or 2 1/2 hours away from it too, but the other direction, in NC. We didn't have time to visit the cemetery. There is so much to see there and we didn't bring lunch. Hunger struck before we were finished looking.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Beautiful pictures, Vonda. Really super job! You ought to be a professional photographer. :) Terry

ShawnaMoore said...

Hi, Vonda!

What a delightful day you spent at Cade's Cove. I must visit there someday. Thank you for letting me experience such a lovely cyber escape while viewing the beautiful scenery you captured for the slideshow :) You have quite a keen eye for spotting perfect photo ops :)

Happy weekend wishes,


Vonda Sinclair said...

Thanks, Terry! I would love to be a professional photographer... if only the writing bug hadn't bitten. LOL Sometimes I sit and look at professional photographs online, some of them, especially landscapes, just take my breath away. And I'll think wow, I want to take pictures like that!

Thanks, Shawna!! I asked my husband if he didn't look at something and think... that would make a great photo. He said no. LOL! So I think maybe my mind does that to an extent. Like if I see a natural and beautiful composition of a group of trees beside the road... I'll yell, stop the car, I have to take a picture of that. LOL Digital cameras are awesome. They have saved me hundreds or thousands in film and developing costs because I am always snapping pics of something.