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cades cove

So. Illinois
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cades cove

Okay, I keep hearing raves about cades cove and the national park...all I keep thinking about is hiking and camping when I hear about the park...I have 3 boys ages 1, 3, 5..I cannot possibly hike all day long with a baby in the stroller...what else is there to do at the national park besides camp, hike?

Chickamauga, Georgia
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for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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1. Re: cades cove

You don't need to camp nor hike to appreciate the national park.

Cades Cove is a prime example of this concept. It's a beautiful 11-mile loop road ride in your vehicle with about 15 stops along the way to visit original homesteads, old historic churches, and an operating grist mill. 80% of all the folks who visit Cades Cove never leave their vehicles, but you should definitely get out and see the sights there.

Cades Cove is home to literally dozens of white-tail deer, wild turkey, a coyote or two, and several bears, all of which you might see along your drive---but no promises. Pack a picnic lunch or stop at the camp store near the entrance for some good food to have while you visit. You can easily spend 1/2 day or longer in Cades Cove and not do any hiking or camping.

Another great place is the Roaring Fork Motor Trail which again is another loop road drive with several scenic and educational places to stop along the way.

Go to the Sugarlands Visitor Center and see the free film about the Smokies. You can also go through the museum here and see the many animals you might encounter in the park. Purchase a souvenir at the book store too.

Drive up to Newfound Gap or Clingmans Dome and just appreciate the view of the mountains, if it's not too smoggy or hazy.

Stop along River Road and let the kids play in the river or go to Townsend, rent a tube, and let the kids go tubing at the Townsend Wye intersection near there.

There's plenty to see and do in the national park without hiking or camping.

Boston...
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2. Re: cades cove

Besides sightseeing through the windshield, there are several very short hikes. One good idea would be the 0.1 mile trail from Sugarlands Visitor's Center to Cataract Falls. They may also enjoy walking around a few of the churches and homesteads like Cable Mill in Cades Cove.

Your older boys may enjoy the Junior Ranger program, which I loved before I got too old. One pays a few dollars for a booklet that they can fill out during their visit. They present it at a visitor's center, take a pledge, and get a badge that says "Junior Ranger". It's a good experience that they'll remember.

Blue

South Boston...
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3. Re: cades cove

hello,

are these (cades cove and roaring fork) both one way traffic???

or is it two lanes???

Boston...
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47 reviews
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4. Re: cades cove

One-way. Cades Cove has two bypasses, Hyatt and Sparks lanes, through which you can repeat your trip, or cut it short.

Chickamauga, Georgia
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5. Re: cades cove

Roaring Fork Motor Trial has not bypasses, so once your on the road, you must complete the entire loop.

Sevierville, TN
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6. Re: cades cove

mitchellsmama,

My wife and two year old son and I just finished a great hike to Grotto Falls off of the Roaring Fork Motor trail.

It wasn't too hot or overly croweded because we went early.

We were back home before noon.

It was an absolutely enjoyable hike. The "pay-off" for this hike was the beautiful 20 foot waterfall which you can walk behind.

As soon as you drive out of town onto the Motor trail it is like transporting to a different time and place.

You don't have to take the entire hike to enjoy this experience. Just going there, pulling off to the side and getting out of your car, you will find another world to explore. That's what many people do.

Just the beginning of the trail head would be enough for many.

There are all kinds of places you can pull out your lunch and eat. There are trash cans and and porta Johns at the beginning of the trail.

Barry

Harrisonburg
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7. Re: cades cove

git2know!!! Reading about the waterfall at Roaring Fork Mortor Trail. Is the hike short or long? How steep?

I really don't want to miss that water fall. Is there a sign telling about it? I would hate to think we couldn't find it.

Hubby and I both love taking pictures and was to get as many as we can. We are not young folks do can't do what you youngins do.

Wish I was in...
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8. Re: cades cove

Connie -

We have been discussing Grotto Falls over on the Gatlinburg board today. You can check it out for some more info.

We liked the hike, but it is a little rough with roots and rocks to watch out for. It is steep, but I didn't think it was too bad. We really liked the falls. You can walk behind them!

Harrisonburg
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9. Re: cades cove

Might not be for us then. Hubby is not surefooted. We hope to find a waterfall for him to take pictures of.

IF you know of any falls where there is a good camera view let me know. We hoped we could go behind the falls but if it's steep it's not for us.

Are we talking about the same waterfall?

Harrisonburg
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10. Re: cades cove

Might not be for us then. Hubby is not surefooted. We hope to find a waterfall for him to take pictures of.

IF you know of any falls where there is a good camera view let me know. We hoped we could go behind the falls but if it's steep it's not for us.

Are we talking about the same waterfall?