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Cades Cove is one of the most popular spots in the Smoky Mountains National Park, and it’s not hard to see why. Visitors can explore hiking trails, historic sites, an auto tour, and more! During the fall season, Cades Cove comes alive with gorgeous colors and becomes an even more magical place to visit. Here are 5 reasons you should visit Cades Cove in the fall.
1. Gorgeous Fall Foliage
Everyone knows the Smoky Mountains is beautiful all year round, but it’s especially beautiful during the fall when the leaves change from various shades of green to oranges, yellows, and reds. Late October into November is when the gorgeous fall foliage can best be seen in Cades Cove. The colors start to change at the highest elevations first, then they make their way down the mountainside. Make sure you bring your camera along with you when you visit — there are plenty of picture-perfect opportunities throughout Cades Cove!
2. Great Time to Spot Wildlife
Fall is also a great time to spot wildlife in Cades Cove! Cades Cove has an abundance of wildlife, and is one of the best areas in the park to catch a glimpse of a black bear. In addition to black bears, you can see white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, woodpeckers, and more. The best times to spot the wildlife are in the early mornings and late evenings. The Cades Cove Loop Road is a great opportunity to view the animals from the comfort and safety of your vehicle. If you do happen to encounter a black bear while you’re in Cades Cove, be sure to keep a safe distance at all times. Read our blog, “4 Smoky Mountain Black Bear Safety Tips You Need to Know,” for more tips on how to safely view wildlife.
3. Beautiful Weather
There’s no doubt that fall brings about some beautiful temperatures in the Smoky Mountains. The cool temperatures make it the perfect time to explore everything that the area has to offer. Daytime temperatures tend to stay in the upper 70s in early fall, but drop 20 to 30 degrees when the sun goes down, so be sure to bring a jacket or sweater if you plan on visiting the cove in the evening.
4. Hiking Opportunities
Because of the beautiful weather, you’re going to want to spend some time outside exploring! Luckily, there are some fantastic hiking opportunities in Cades Cove. One of the most popular trails in Cades Cove to hike in the fall is Abrams Falls. Abrams Falls may only be 20 feet high, but the large volume of water rushing over the falls more than makes up for its lack of height. During the fall, there is a beautiful burst of color above the falls, creating a picturesque scene. Other popular trails in Cades Cove include Gregory Bald and Rich Mountain Loop.
5. Explore History
Another reason to visit Cades Cove in the fall is to explore the rich history of the area. Cades Cove is home to a number of historic sites, from grist mills, to old cabins, to churches! You can take a tour of the settlers’ homes and barns to get a snapshot of what life was like for the first people who inhabited the area in the early 1800s. Some of the most popular historic sites are the 3 churches in the area. All three of the buildings are more than 100 years old and have a rich past.
These are just some of the many reasons to visit Cades Cove in the fall! Learn more about Cades Cove by reading our blog, “8 Shocking Secrets of Cades Cove You Won’t Believe,” then start planning your visit!