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Bike Cade's Cove Loop

Townsend, Tennessee

4.9/5
based on 9 reviews

Details

Distance

10.5 miles

Route Type

Loop

Description

Added by Mason Boring

Bike the ~11 mile historic Cade's Cove Loop (under full moon). This is a great activity and base camp for hiking and backpacking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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.

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Features

Cycling
Camping
Photography
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildlife
ADA Accessible

Reviews

I suggest camping there so you can go out in the early morning. It is the best time of day to go so you can enjoy the peace of the valley and have a better chance of seeing wildlife.

On certain days of the week you can bike this route without any vehicle traffic for several hours. It gives an unreal experience of being in and around a hundred + year old mountain town without the sounds of cars. Often Bears, Deer, Turkey, etc are right off the road as the threat of vehicles doesnt exist. It also will allow for some pretty incredible footage with limited crowds.

My husband and I had a great time- got started around 10 am and finished up around noon. We stopped a lot, mostly because how unbelievably inconsiderate cars are. Note, you will be sharing the road with vehicles and many want to ride up on you only for you to be right behind another car. This does make for some unexpected stops to let dummies pass you. The views are incredible, just note the bike rental from the campground store only has a water bottle holder, so bring a backpack to shed your layers in the fall! 😊

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!

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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Hike to Abrams Falls

Gregory Bald via Gregory Ridge Trail

Hike to Rocky Top

Backpack to Spence Field

Hike to Look Rock Tower

Drive the Foothills Parkway National Scenic Byway