Campground Review- Cades Cove is one of the most scenic areas in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 11 mile loop through Cades Cove is beautiful and full of wildlife. The road is paved, and is closed to car traffic on Saturday’s and Wednesday’s until 10am, so it is great to take a bike, or go on foot and explore! We always see lots of deer, turkeys, and sometimes bears and coyotes. Abrams Falls is a popular hike, it’s roughly 5 miles round trip, is moderately difficult, and has a beautiful waterfall at the end, but beware of swimming there, several deaths have occurred at Abrams Falls, even from strong swimmers.
The Campground at Cades Cove is heavily wooded, with lots of sites, none of them have electricity hook ups, but the B loop allows generators, the C loop does not allow them. The sites are fairly close, but each site has plenty of room to not feel cramped.
The restrooms do not have showers, but do have flush toilets, and were well maintained and clean. The campground has a nice store that has the approved heat treated firewood, ice, souvenirs, ice cream, and other things you might need. I believe you can rent bikes there too. This area is extremely crowded during summer and peak seasons, so plan accordingly!
Product Review- *Ranger Review- Wenzel Moonshine Shade As a ranger for The Dyrt, I sometimes get cool gear to test and review, so today I’m reviewing the Moonshine Shade from Wenzel. The Shade arrived on Friday morning, the day I was heading to Cades Cove, with rain in the forecast I was so pumped I got it in time to take! I have been looking for a lightweight canopy to replace the big, bulky ez up we’ve been using, the Moonshine Shade weighs in at 14lbs, and fits in a small carrying case! The first time setting it up, it was in the rain, and I should have actually read the Instructions, instead of skimming over them! Lol. But I figured it out, and in hindsight, i made it way harder than it actually is. It is really a quick 5 minute set up, and the 9x12 area actually provides more shade than the 10x10 canopy, especially with the movable side wall.
The Moonshine Shade from Wenzel is a fantastic product, and excellent for camping, or any outdoor event! Find it here- Wenzelco.com
My wife and I thoroughly enjoy riding the Cade’s Cove Loop on Sat and Wed morning before they open it up for vehicles at 10am. You can ride right from the campground to the loop. The sights were much larger than expected and fairly spacious/private. There are no showers but adequate not special restrooms. Scenery is absolutely beautiful. Expect it to be busy at all times Fri and Sat night so book in advance. There is a camp store that has ice cream, firewood and ice. There are a number of park rangers on site most of the day with the ranger station being located at the front of the campground. I highly recommend this campground if you are wanting to ride the loop or just explore Smoky Mountain National Park.
What a great campground!! This is away from the craziness of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. It puts you back into the outdoors as the National Parks should be. The campground is beautiful and on certain days they close off the loop of Cades Cove for bicycles to be able to ride. At the store near the campground they rent bikes for a reasonable rate. We took the entire family on the loop bike ride. This was so much fun.
The good: This is a beautiful area with a lot of wildlife. We saw bear, wild turkey, deer and a coyote. The campground is very convenient to the camp store and Cades Cove. The not-so-good: the campground is very crowded and the campsites are close together. There are restrooms, but no showers. We had to drive about 10 miles into town and pay $5.00 each to shower at another campground.
This campground is my favorite! It is so peaceful (mostly due to no internet access). The cove is the main attraction and it is priceless to be able to stay right there where you can walk/drive/bike threw it when ever. As for wildlife you can have a bear or deer stroll through your site (we had a mama and cubs come for dinner).
This campground is so convenient to Cades Cove. You can easily bike through the loop, or drive. Nice spot to see wildlife as well. Cades Cove is well known for spotting bears, deer and turkey. Make sure to take the necessary steps to store your food. Great spot to go explore the beauty and history of East Tennessee!
Great place to stay before hiking long day hikes
I'll give it 5 stars because there is no way to beat the location of the Cades Cove campground located at the entrance to the Cades Cove loop road that is dotted with old homesteads, trails to waterfalls, and wildlife. Stay here because the road itself is crowded enough during peak seaon; you'll be glad you won't have to fight the traffic just to reach it!
Some of the B loop sites are starting to look a little older, with cracking pavement. There's been some tree loss here as well. The back of the campground offers slightly larger, more level, and quieter sites. bathrooms are no frills, clean, flush toilets, no hand soap. The C loop is open year round, but not all of it. The front rows tend to have more of a slope and are closer together; the ones on the back side of the loop are larger, more level, and more secluded. No showers in the park; ask at the visitor's center for a list of area campgrounds that will allow you to shower for $3-5.
This is one of two year-round campgrounds in the park. Make your reservations online. You need to spend a couple of days here, but not your entire stay. The camp store is heavy on souvenirs, also has take out food. Bike rentals make it easy to take advantage of the bikes only mornings on the loop road. Firewood is available here, but you may also gather downed firewood in the park. Otherwise, it must be heat-treated firewood.
No cell service; head into Townsend, TN for that.
We have camped here in our tent and my only complaint is that the tent pads are slightly elevated and we have a huge two room tent that would not fit on any of the tent pads. We found a site that didn't have a tent pads and that's where we set up. So of you have a large or abnormally shaped tent you'll need to do some research first to find a tent site that will accommodate your tent. We love how wooded and shaded the sites are. We camped in the middle of a hot sticky Tennessee summer and felt just fine in all of the shade. Right around the corner from the loop of historic Cade's Cove, we were able to explore the loop and all that it offers. We were also close to the gift shop and camp store so the kids could go grab an ice cream cone in the afternoon. We had a a great time here.
This is my favorite campground! It could be because I’ve been camping in Cades Cove every year since I was 5. I’m 30 now & married my husband at the missionary baptist church in cades cove in 2014. Many good memories have been made in this campground. It’s primitive $20 a night no hook ups large wooded sites. One loop generators are allowed & another loop they aren’t so that’s nice. It’s peaceful & very quiet. There’s a river that runs a long the outside of the campground. Good swimming holes. A store that sells food (the best ice cream), firewood & camping supplies. They also have bike & helmets for rent. They’re very strict about bear proofing your campsite. All my years camping there I’ve seen many bear walking through the campground. So it’s for your safety & the bears that you obey the rules. The rangers walk around frequently & make sure no ice chest or grills have been left out so before you leave your campsite make sure to pick those items up or they will get confiscated & you will get a little ticket. Again it’s all for your & the bears safety. The 11 mile loop is closed for vehicles on wed & sat mornings until 10:00 am so bikes can ride through. I highly recommend walking or riding your bike through early in the morning or in the afternoon. There is a halfway point to use the restroom & buy some souvenirs. Also there is a road called parsons branch most of the time it’s closed but we’ve been lucky a few times & it’s been open. Definitely need a suv or truck to drive down it bc you cross over water a few times. EXTREMELY PEACEFUL! All 3 times we’ve driven it we never saw anyone else. It’s a narrow road & you end up on the dragon in North Carolina so you’ll have a nice drive down the foothills parkway to get back. Also rich mountain road is beautiful to drive down in the fall. It will bring you back out in townsend.