Leaving the Fall festivities in Gatlinburg, Tennessee as seen in a previous post, our goal is to drive into the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and on into Cades Cove. Of all things, I failed to get a picture of the below sign, but fortunately did find the below photo on the Internet.
Smoky Mountain National Park
Photo from the Internet
Driving the 24 miles to Cades Cove was almost as scenic as being in the Cove. I kept my camera beside me along the way and several times could not resist snapping a photo of a pretty spot as we drove along.
As we drove along on our way to Cades Cove, we would often see this
beautiful creek meandering along beside the roadway.
Before we knew it we had reached Cades Cove.
Cades Cove was a farming community of almost 700 people who lived in this area 100 years before the Smoky Mountain National Park was created. The first settlers arrived in the Cove in the early 1820s.
An 11-mile, scenic one-way loop road circles the cove. All along the way motorists sightsee at a slow pace seeing old historic buildings including churches, an old grist mill, barns and log houses. The Cades Cove loop is open from sunrise to sunset.
There is a lot of wildlife which can often be spotted along the way, including Deer, Black Bears, Coyotes, Red Wolves, Wild Boar, River Otters, Wild Turkeys, Grey Squirrels, Rabbits, Chipmunks, Gray Foxes, Red Foxes, Raccoons, Bobcats, Copperhead and Timber Rattlesnakes.
The Cove is a broad valley surrounded by mountains
and is one of the most popular destinations in the Smoky Mountain National Park.
The original road followed the same general route of the present day loop road.
Below, way off in the distance, you can spot the oldest log home in Cades Cove, which was built in the early 1820s. It was a long walk in the sun, and I did not have my hat, so unfortunately I did not get a nice close-up of this cabin.
We turned down this side gravel-topped road in the below photo to see the first historic building on the loop.
Some of the earliest settlers to Cades Cove established this church.
Many of the earliest settlers to Cades Cove are buried in this old cemetery.
The inside of the old Primitive Baptist Church.
Back on the loop road we travel to the next historic building.
We arrive at the Methodist Church which was built in 1902. This church replaced the original log building built back in 1820.
Religion was an important part of life in Cades Cove from the earliest days.
Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church.
It was very picturesque driving along the loop road.
We have arrived at the Visitor's Center as seen in the below photo. This building was built in 1972 and is a place where visitors may buy books, post cards, batteries, maps, guides and other items.
Located close to the Visitor's Center is this homestead. This home belonged to several owners over the years. A General Store was operated on the first floor by some of the families who lived in this home
Fall has come to the Cades Cove.
Grist mill near the Visitors Center, built about 1870.
In the below photo is an old molasses-making mill which is powered
by a horse or mule pulling the long pole in a circle.
In the below photo is the Henry Whitehead Place, built in 1898. Notice the brick chimney! The bricks were molded and fired on the property which was unusual in the Cove.
While I was taking a photo of the pretty rustic fence in the above photo I looked down and spotted what looked like mushrooms growing on this log ... I thought they looked very much like pancakes!
Driving back on the loop road.
The Dan Lawson Place in the below photos was built in the 1840s. Dan Lawson was the Cove's wealthiest resident.
The Dan Lawson Place.
The Tipton Place built in the 1880s
I very much wanted to climb those stairs
but was afraid of running into a spider or some kind of critter!
In the below photo is the Carter Shields Cabin, the last homestead
on the Cades Cove automobile tour.
The Cades Cove Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
We have come to the end of the 11 mile loop road in Cades Cove. It is not hard to believe that this beautiful area attracts more than two million visitors a year, because of it's well preserved homesteads and scenic mountain views.
I can only imagine what pioneer life must have been like here in the Cove. Just think ... no grocery store, no running water, no car, no refrigerator! No Wal-Mart! HOW did they manage! It is amazing what man can do!
We enjoyed driving through Cades Cove and hearing echoes of the past all along the way.
Thanks for coming along with us on our drive
and we wish you many blessings wherever you may be.