Fun Facts to Know About Cades Cove

Fun Facts to Know About Cades Cove

Welcome to Cades Cove, the most popular section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! With over 2 million visitors annually, this stunning valley offers a wealth of history, natural beauty, and wildlife viewing opportunities.

One of the highlights of Cades Cove is its well-preserved historical buildings that take you back in time. Explore the charming John Cable Grist Mill, which was built in 1868 and is still operational today. It’s the only working grist mill on the Tennessee side of the Smokies.

But it’s not just historical buildings that make Cades Cove special. The valley is also home to breathtaking mountain vistas that will leave you in awe. Take a scenic drive along the 11-mile loop road, passing by all the major landmarks in the area. Be sure to keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife that calls Cades Cove home. From deer and bears to wild turkeys and even otters in Abrams Creek, there’s no shortage of animal sightings.

Named after Chief Kade, a Cherokee leader who was active in the area in the late 1700s and early 1800s, Cades Cove has a rich history. While there is no evidence of major Cherokee settlements in the valley, the Tsiya’hi settlement was likely a seasonal hunting camp.

For convenient access to Cades Cove, consider staying at the Appy Lodge in Gatlinburg. It’s the perfect basecamp to explore not only Cades Cove but also other attractions in the area.

Get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty and heritage of Cades Cove. Join the millions of visitors who have fallen in love with this remarkable destination in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

History and Naming of Cades Cove

Cades Cove, a picturesque valley located in the Great Smoky Mountains, holds a rich history that dates back centuries. Originally known as “Tsiya’hi,” meaning “Otter Place” in the Cherokee language, the area was named after the abundance of American River Otters that once thrived in the region.

Chief Kade, a prominent Cherokee leader, played a significant role in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The valley was eventually named after him to honor his contributions to the community. However, the arrival of European settlers in 1818 brought significant changes to the landscape.

Following the Treaty of Calhoun in the subsequent year, Cherokee claims to the Smoky Mountains ended, marking a turning point in the valley’s history. While there is evidence of Cherokee presence in Cades Cove, it is believed that their settlement mainly served as a seasonal hunting camp rather than a permanent residence.

The John Oliver Cabin, one of the oldest structures in the park, showcases the ingenuity of early settlers. Constructed with notched corners instead of nails and pegs, this historic cabin is a testament to the resourcefulness and craftsmanship of those who inhabited the area.

Over time, the name “Cades Cove” has experienced various iterations. Early settlers referred to it as “Kate’s Cove” and simply “The Cove” before settling on its current name. As more European settlers arrived and established permanent residency, the valley’s population grew rapidly, surpassing 685 by 1850.

Cades Cove

With a rich tapestry of both Cherokee and European influences, Cades Cove stands as a testament to the cultural heritage that shaped the region. In the next section, we will delve into the unique features that make Cades Cove a must-visit destination within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Unique Features of Cades Cove

When exploring the scenic wonders of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one destination stands out among the rest – Cades Cove. With its captivating blend of natural beauty and rich history, Cades Cove offers visitors a truly unique experience.

At the heart of Cades Cove lies the John Cable Grist Mill, a remarkable piece of history. Built in 1868, this working grist mill is the sole mill of its kind on the Tennessee side of the park. Back in the day, it played a vital role in the lives of the local community, making the arduous task of grinding corn and wheat into flour much easier.

Surrounding the John Cable Grist Mill, visitors will discover a collection of historic buildings that hold stories of the past. Some of these structures, like the Gregg-Cable House, were relocated from other areas within Cades Cove, adding to the fascinating tapestry of the region’s heritage.

As the most popular destination within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cades Cove attracts an average of 2 million visitors each year. However, it’s important to note that the main entrance to Cades Cove closes at sunset, making it the only section of the park to have a gate closure. But fear not, there is an alternate exit available for those who wish to stay a little longer in this enchanting place.

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