Cades Cove is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and for a good reason. The loop drive offers beautiful scenery and opportunities to see wildlife. However, there are a few things I won’t do again the next time I visit Cades Cove. Here are 7 things I won’t do again in Cades Cove Loop.
1. Don't feed the animals
It may seem like a harmless act of kindness, but feeding wild animals is actually harmful to them. When animals become reliant on humans for food, they often lose their natural aversion to us and become aggressive when they don’t get what they want. Plus, giving them human food can damage their health. So resist the temptation to feed that cute deer or bear!
2. Not Getting To Cades Cove Loop There Early Enough
If you want to beat the crowds, you need to get an early start. The Cades Cove Loop is one of the most popular attractions in the park, and it gets crowded quickly, especially during peak tourist season. Arrive early to get a parking spot and enjoy some peace and quiet before the crowds arrive.
3. Not Planning Your Visit During The Week
While weekends are undoubtedly the busiest time at Cades Cove Loop, weekday visits aren’t exactly a ghost town either. If your schedule allows, plan your trip during the week so you can avoid some of the weekend rush.
4. Don't Try To Do Too Much
Cades Cove is a beautiful place, but there is so much to see that it can be overwhelming! If you try to pack too much into your day, you’ll just end up frustrated. Instead, pick one or two things that you really want to see or do and focus on those. Above all, remember that Cades Cove Loop is 11 miles and scattered around that are plenty of hiking trails and historic structures.
5. Not Staying On The Trails
One of the best ways to enjoy all that Cades Cove has to offer is by staying on the trails at all times. Not only will this help protect fragile plants and animals, but it will also prevent you from getting lost if you’re unfamiliar with the area. Additionally, it is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so there are abundant wild animals around – it’s wise to stick to the trails where there is other foot traffic around.
6. Not Checking The Weather Forecast
This one should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t bother checking the weather forecast before heading out on their hike. Cades Cove is known for its sudden thunderstorms, so it’s always best to check the forecast beforehand and come prepared with proper rain gear just in case.
7. Not Wearing Proper Footwear
Yes, even though you’re just taking a leisurely stroll around the loop, it’s important to wear proper footwear. The last thing you want is to end up with blisters halfway through your hike because you decided to wear flip-flops instead of sneakers. It’s best to always wear shows with some grip that provides support on trails and brush during your hike around Cades Cove. Trust us, your feet will thank you later.
Cades Cove Loop Overview
Share The Cades Cove Loop Tips!
Cades Cove Loop is definitely one of my favorite places in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park — but it’s not without its challenges. By avoiding these seven things, I hope you’ll have a more enjoyable experience on your next visit! Be sure to give us a call for Gatlinburg discounts!