Cades Cove Loop Road is a gorgeous paved, one-way road that leads you to historic structures. This road follows an old logging railroad track. Read along to find out how you can explore the Cove’s historic 11-mile loop with this self-guided auto-tour!
JOHN OLIVER CABIN
The first historical structure is the John Oliver Cabin. This cabin was named after one of the Cove’s first pioneers to settle there.
PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH
The second building is the Primitive Baptist Church. This church was the second church to be built in the Cove and one of the last structures to be added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Next is the Methodist church. It was built in the early 1820s by their eventual church minister, J.D. McCampbell.
MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
Next is the Missionary Baptist Church. It was formed in 1839 by half of the original Primitive Baptist Church congregation. In the spring, “Co. 5427” is spelled out in daffodils.
COOPER ROAD TRAIL
Next is the Cooper Road Trail, a hiking trail that once was the direct route to Maryville, TN.
ELIJAH OLIVER PLACE
Next is the Elijah Oliver Place. Remember John Oliver? Elijah is John’s son.
Next is the trailhead to Abrams Falls. Here you’ll find a 20-foot small but mighty waterfall that doubles as a natural pool teeming with salamanders.
Next is the Cades Cove Visitor Center where guests can pick up souvenirs, a fresh bag of flour from the grist mill, and maybe hear a few lines from a local storyteller.
Next, you can stretch your legs at the Cable Mill, the only working gristmill in the Smoky Mountains. You will also find several historic home sites and buildings.
HENRY WHITEHEAD PLACE
Next is the Henry Whitehead Place. At the time, this was the 3rd home in the Smokies to be built this way. However, it is the only one still standing.
CADES COVE NATURE TRAIL
Next is the Cades Cove Nature Trail. It’s a short walk that is bursting with dogwood blooms in the spring.
DAN LAWSON PLACE
Next is the Dan Lawson Place. This structure is unique as it has a brick chimney which is unusual for its time. All of the bricks were made in the Cove.
Next up, the Tipton Place- the best porch view in the Cove. It was owned by Colonel Hamp Tipton, though he never resided there. His daughters, Lucy and Lizzie Tipton did and were teachers in the Cove.
CARTER SHIELDS CABIN
And lastly, the Carter Shields Cabin- possibly the most photographed historic building along the Cades Cove Loop Road. It is timeless.
HYATT AND SPARKS LANE
Two additional roads to the Cades Cove Loop Road are open for motorists. Both Hyatt Lane and Sparks Lane cut through the center of the open fields at Cades Cove.