5 Fun Things to Do in Cades Cove With Your Family

john oliver cabin in cades cove
July 5, 2019

You’ve probably heard of Cades Cove since it’s one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. There are plenty of fun things to do in Cades Cove you’ll definitely want to try, whether it’s eating a meal together or getting some exercise. Look at these 5 fun things to do in Cades Cove with your family:

1. Go on a Picnic

picnic basket on a table

One of the best ways to spend time together as a family is to have a meal together. Cades Cove has a picnic area next to the campground where you can grab a table and grill out, make sandwiches, or eat take out from a restaurant. Everyone will love eating outside together, especially when you sit next to the river. After you eat, the kids can splash around in the water. You might even spot a deer coming to the water for a drink!

2. Bike the Loop

Wednesdays and Saturdays before 10 am between May 8th and September 25th, the Cades Cove Loop is closed to automobiles. This rule creates a time where people can walk or bike the Loop. There are bikes you can rent, or you can bring your own bikes. Riding a bike around the loop is completely different than riding in a car. You’ll appreciate the beauty surrounding you in this valley, and you might even spot some deer, wild turkeys, and maybe even a bear!

3. Ride Horses

horses in the smoky mountains

If your family loves animals, you should ride horses around Cades Cove! At Cades Cove Riding Stables, you can each ride your own horse with a guide who takes you around the valley to see the sights how people did back in the day. Kids younger than 5 years old should ride with a parent, but kids older than this are encouraged to ride their own horse. All of the horses are vetted, ensuring they are good with children and calm. If you don’t want to get quite so up close and personal with the horses, you can always take a carriage ride around Cades Cove!

4. Go on a Hike

If your family loves to hike, you should definitely hike one of the trails in Cades Cove. The easiest for small kids is the Cades Cove Nature Trail. One of the moderate trails leads you to see Abrams Falls, a waterfall that is small in stature but impressive in the amount of water falling over the tier. If history is your thing, you should hike the Rich Mountain Loop where you’ll see an old fire tower. Spence Field is another moderate hiking trail through the forest where you might see all kinds of wildlife. If you want a great view of the mountains and wildflowers in the spring, take the Gregory Bald trail. There are plenty of trails for a variety of skill levels in Cades Cove!

5. See the Sights

cabin in cades cove tennessee

Cades Cove is full of history and natural features you’ll want to stop and look at. There are so many stops where you have incredible mountain views and rolling hills full of wildflowers in the spring. During the fall, almost all of the trees are a different shade for beautiful pictures. There are many historic buildings throughout the loop, including cabins, barns, and churches. You’ll also find a working grist mill! Cades Cove is also a popular place to find bears, deer, turkeys, and many other wild creatures.

Your family will love spending a day in Cades Cove doing any of these fun activities! Check out these other Pigeon Forge attractions you should do when you stay with us!

Need a place to stay? Check out these 2 bedroom cabins in Pigeon Forge your family will love!