• Activities:

    Cycling, Camping, Photography

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildlife

Abundant wildlife. Nearby car camping. Bike this 11 mile historic loop (under full moon). Great base camp for hiking and backpacking.

Cade's Cove is a valley located smack in the middle of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Feel free to drive the 11 mile loop in the day, but if you're really cool, you'll schedule your trip around a full moon so you can bike under the light of night! Allow yourself a few hours to explore around off the loop!

There is camping nearby. Just make reservations! 159 sites are open year round in Cades Cove. If camping, return inside the loop before sunrise to make a memory that's sure to stick.

Pack List

  • Bike
  • Headlamp
  • Good company
  • Camping gear if you stay overnight
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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Great to do in the morning right before sunrise to see the best wildlife!

about 1 month ago
about 1 month ago

My boyfriend and I rented bikes at the campground store at Cade's Cove after a night of camping there. We had an absolute blast! If you're going in the fall definitely dress accordingly, because it's chilly in the mornings. There are a few steep hills so be prepared for a little bit of a workout. I also advise getting some hot chocolate or ice cream at the store upon returning the bikes. Perfect end to the adventure!

about 2 months ago
about 2 months ago

We rented bikes at the visitors center. Beautifully scenic and historic loop. Perfect for biking but I’d highly recommend riding before cars are allowed! The loop is closed to cars every Saturday and Wednesday morning until 10 a.m. from early May until late September... so plan accordingly and get there early!

5 months ago
5 months ago

I've only biked around Cades Cove in the mornings, and it is well worth it! Lots of wildlife out and about the earlier you go. Most of the year, the Cades Cove loops is closed to cars on Wednesday and Saturday mornings so that visitors can bike and walk around the loop without traffic. It's a great time to go! The campground store also has bike rentals if you don't want to bring your own bike. There are quite a few hills, but nothing too strenuous.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Cade's Cove was my favorite spot in the park and seeing it on a crisp July morning was truly amazing. Not only do you get amazing views out of it, but you get to see and explore some awesome historic structures!

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Just did this last weekend with a few friends during the full moon and WOW. We got there around midnight and the entire valley was lit by the moon. Heard some coyotes but that was it in terms of wildlife. Completely surreal experience, thanks so much for the suggestion.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

The loop has historic building in areas, all are open to the public. There are many animals living there, so have your camera ready! Something so amazing can be missed in the blink of an eye! It is way better to go as early as possible due to animal feeding patterns and most are out in the early hours.

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Mason Boring

adventurer | laugher | wayfarer | humanist | photographer | woodsman | fan of the underdog | friend of the down and out

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