A Visit to Cades Cove
Having lived in the Blount County area all my life, I have taken many weekend trips with my family and friends to Cades Cove, a beautiful place situated in The Great Smokey Mountains. Here you can drive the eleven-mile trail (visiting the homes of people who once resided in Cades Cove), picnic in the park, and camp out for the weekend. Cades Cove contains a lot of history as well as beautiful sites.
Located near the Townsend entrance to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, the cove is a great place to come and relax for a weekend. From ETSU, the trip is only a 2-1/2 hour drive. That may seem long, but it is well worth the drive, just to escape the hectic college life. Cades Cove is such a beautiful place to visit because of its landscape. There are many open fields with trees and wildflowers, and many deer roam around the open pastures. There are also many log cabins where people use to live in the Cades Cove area. Many visitors come to the cove just because of the history that lies in the park.
It is best to start the 11-mile trail at the beginning of the loop. Here it is higher and drier than at the swampy end, and you may see cows grazing high above the cove. The first home you see is the John Oliver Place, a two-story, hewn-log home built in the 1850’s. Near to this cabin, is The Primitive Baptist Church. It was organized in 1827, and buried in its cemetery is Russell Gregory. He was memorialized in the naming of Gregory’s Bald. Roughly 2 miles down from this church is the Methodist Church. Built in 1902 by John D.McCampbell, it has two front doors. One was for the women and children and the other was for the men. Right next to the church is a cemetery where many of the church families were buried.
The next home, which is within walking distance, belonged to Elijah Oliver. Besides the home, there is a smokehouse and a springhouse. The springhouse would provide people with water and would also serve as a "refrigerator." From here, I would drive to the Cable Mill area, which is my favorite. It contains the Mill, the Mill race, and the Dam. There is a blacksmith shop, a barn, and a sorghum mill as well in this area. It started out as the home of Gregg Cable in 1879 and later became the home of Becky Cable. The last site is the Henry Whitehead place. This cabin was made of mill- sawn square logs and has a brick chimney. An older one sits beside it. Ending your tour around the loop, you will find Sparks Lane, a two-way road that provides a shortcut back to the campground or an exit from the cove.
Although there is a great deal of history in the park, Cades Cove has a lot of things to offer its visitors. There is so much to do as far as recreation is concerned. A number of people enjoy fishing, hiking, horseback riding, backpacking, camping, sightseeing, and taking nature walks. Cades Cove offers many trails for people who enjoy hiking. Most of these trails lead you to the cabins if you choose to...