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Did you know there are several hiking trails in and around Cades Cove? You probably know this area is a beautiful place to drive through and get out and explore, but there are quite a bit of Cades Cove hiking trails you might want to check out too! You can see incredible views or just enjoy a nice hike through the woods. Here are the top 5 Cades Cove hiking trails you should go on:
1. Rich Mountain Loop
Rich Mountain Loop is considered a difficult trail with a roundtrip length of 8.5 miles. The trailhead is about 25 feet into the Cades Cove Loop on the right. You’ll come across John Oliver’s cabin and be able to walk inside to see what living back in the pioneer days was like. In the spring, there are several different kinds of wildflowers along the trail. You’ll have a beautiful view of Cades Cove about halfway up the trail, and then you’ll eventually come across the remains of Rich Mountain Fire Tower.
2. Cades Cove Nature Trail
Cades Cove Nature Trail is a short, simple walking trail on the later half of the loop. You’ll walk under dogwood and chestnut trees along this path. You might see wildlife while you’re on this trail, and you’ll definitely get to enjoy views of the meadows and mountains.
3. Abrams Falls
The hike to Abrams Falls is considered moderate and is 5 miles roundtrip. The trailhead is about halfway around the Loop right after you cross Abrams Creek. You’ll hike through old forest growth and see all kinds of native plants. You might even see wildlife when you hike this trail. Then, you’ll hike alongside the creek and finally see the waterfall. Abrams Falls is 20 feet tall and has an incredible amount of water that rushes over the side.
4. Spence Field
Another Cades Cove hiking trail you should go on is Spence Field. There are a few ways to get on this trail, but the one we will talk about is along Anthony Creek. The trailhead is in the Cades Cove picnic area. It is 10.3 miles roundtrip and considered difficult. You might see some rhododendron along the path as you walk through the trees. Close to the end, you’ll find a series of grassy meadows, and then at the next junction, you’ll reach Spence Field. You’ll see beautiful open fields and views of the mountains.
5. Rocky Top
The Rocky Top trail starts at the same place as Spence Field. You’ll start out on Anthony Creek Trail following along Abram Creek in the Cades Cove picnic area. About 3.5 miles in, there’s a junction, and you should turn right to continue towards Rocky Top. About 5 miles in, you’ll reach Spence Field, and you should continue left. You’ll travel along a portion of the Appalachian Trail. You’ll eventually see three mountaintops, and the first one is Rocky Top. This is what the famous “Rocky Top” song is about!
These Cades Cove hiking trails are just some of the fun you can have in the Great Smoky Mountains. Want to know more about the national park and what you should do? Learn more about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park before you visit!