Cades Cove http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/cadescove.htm sits in a valley located on the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It is on the opposite side of the park from our hometown, Bryson City, NC http://www.greatsmokies.com/ . The best way to explore Cades Cove is by bicycle. Deer and flocks of turkey are everywhere and occasionally a bear or two can be seen. The wildlife is accustomed to the almost never ending stream of cars that creep around the 11 mile loop, but are most active when the loop is closed to automobile traffic.
Saturday mornings before 10:00 am the park service closes the loop to all but bicycle and foot traffic. Prowling through the historic churches, houses and barns make Cades Cove a good mix of on and off the bike activities. The single lane road is in poor condition so fat tires are preferable but this is a great ride for kids and beginners. The biggest hazards are from (guess what) kids and beginners, but this makes for a good opportunity to practice patience. Cades Cove has a nice primitive camp ground, a camp store, bicycle rental, horse back riding, hiking trails, hay rides and lots of activities for kids.