The Cades Cove Loop is located a few miles beyond the Townsend Park entrance. Cades Cove is 6,800-acres nestled in a beautiful isolated valley in the East Tennessee section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is a representative sample of this Park’s natural and cultural history as well as its recreational opportunities. Open fields lap against 5,500-foot mountain peaks. With more than 2.5 million visitors annually, it is the Park’s most popular destination. Most people come to Cades Cove to observe the wildlife such as white-tailed deer, black bear, raccoon, turkeys, woodchucks, and other animals. Cades Cove offers some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing in the park.
I have been to Cades Cove and only seen one Elk the entire time I was there. But, There are ranger talks, homesteads, cemeteries, etc. There are actually 14 cemetaries in Cade’s Cove. However, only 11 have been found.
Bear, deer and elk inhabit the mountains surrounding the valley and often traverse the wide fields in an effort to get from one side to the other, to graze or just enjoy the sun on their fur. I have been to Cades Cove and only seen one Elk the entire time I was there. I have also been to Cades Cove and seen 4 different bear sightings. Also see my blog post on Odis Abbott. This place is a definite for me every time I visit the area.
Web address – http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/cadescove.htm
Location – about 23 miles of twisting roads from Sugarlands Visitor Center
related articles: http://aakemp.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/the-great-smoky-mountains-2/