Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Cades Cove. Cades Cove is home to an abundance of wildlife and rare plants and provides a unique blend of natural scenic beauty, pioneer culture and lengthy history that seizes the hearts of millions of visitors every year. The diverse blend of natural, cultural, scenic and recreational value that Cades Cove offers makes it a true jewel of the Smokies.
Civil War in Cades Cove had a shattering impact on the residents of the cove. During the Civil War Cades Cove sympathized with the North and ended up paying dearly for it. Surrounded by hostile territory from 1862 to 1864 one of the confederate regiments called Thomas Legion would unleash terror on the cove. Livestock was stolen, children were often harassed and prisoners taken.
As a last measure the residents resorted to posting their small childrenon the mountain tops armed with horns. If they saw Confederates approaching they blew the horns and everyone ran for cover out of fear. The Civil War in Cades Cove forever changed the cove's history as residents no longer trusted any outsiders and felt anger toward the southern states who they blamed for the war. The cove turned inward and basically interbred with each other until only a handful had different last names.
In current day Cades Cove Tennessee is one of the most visited sites in the area and offers visitors interesting cabin rentals and other pioneer structures that are scattered around and tell the story of the early settlers of Cades Cove Tennessee. Cades Cove Tennessee is best seen via Cades Cove Loop Road, a one-way paved lane that flanks the bottom of the treed mountains that surround the field of the valley floor. Loop Road at Cades Cove Tennessee invites visitors on a historical circuit of farms, fields, roads and trails and give visitors a good idea of what life at Cades Cove Tennessee was like back before the days of the Civil War.
Cades Cove camping is a popular activity at its peak during Tennessee summer months, but visitors are also quite active in the spring and fall. At the entrance to the cove there is a beautiful campground and numerous interior sites that are accessible by the hiking trails. Just toward the left when you enter the cove is the largest of the Cades Cove camping sites and has 159 sites of which some are wheelchair accessible. Cades Cove admission is free.
Sites can handle trailers as well as motor homes and have lantern hangers and picnic tables. Cades Cove camping at the front side of the cove also offers flush toilets, an on-site store and running water. Throughout the Cades Cove camping ground there is a network of sixteen other backcountry campgrounds for more privacy among the natural landscapes. Pigeon Forge is nearby and if ever tired of the campfire cookouts many dining options are close by.
If camping isn't in the cards there are many options for accommodation in Pigeon Forge to suit all needs. Gatlinburg is also nearby and welcomes guests who want to explore the cove and other nearby attractions. Cades Cove is full of history and the spirit of pioneer life. Exploring the cove brings a better understanding as to what the original settlers way of life was and possibly a glimpse into the fear they felt and why they hid back in the cove and kept to themselves for so long.