Wednesday, August 5, 2020
So we are still in the Smokies and this morning we were up early to drive to Cades Cove. Cades Cove is a broad, verdant valley surrounded by mountains and is one of the most popular destinations in the Park. It is know for its wild life viewing, beautiful scenery, and hiking trails. Cades Cove has an eleven mile loop road that circles the cove and this year they have made all day each Wednesday vehicle free. It is open to bikes and pedestrians only. It supposedly opens at 8:00 but we were there before 7:00 this morning. The parking lot was already full and we, along with hundreds of others parked on the side of the road. As it turns out everyone starts hiking and riding whenever they arrive. You would probably have to be there before 6:00 to get a spot in the parking lot. One person we talked to when we were taking a break told us they rode 2 miles from where they parked before arriving at the start of the loop.
We have hiked various trails in this area of the park and driven through the cove many times but today was our first trip through the cove on our bikes. It was a great, although challenging at times, ride. You can’t ride or hike in Smokey Mountain National Park without climbing some “hills.” The ride started out in heavy fog but cleared as we rode and by the time we completed the ride and got our traditional Cades Cove ice cream cones. It was a beautiful day, even with the fog.