Cades Cove Trails: Top Hiking Trails Around Cades Cove

There are several popular Cades Cove trails that make great hikes all year long. In addition to these trails, it's also possibly to hike or bike the 11 mile Cades Cove loop road. The best time to do so it on vehicle free Wednesdays between May and September.

Abrams Falls Trail

Halfway through the Cades Cove loop is the trailhead for the extremely popular Abrams Falls Trail. The trail itself if 4.2 miles long and intersects with Little Bottoms Trail. Abrams Falls, sometimes referred to as the Cades Cove waterfall, can be reached from a side trail about 2.6 miles in, making this a 5.2 mile round trip hike.

Abrams Falls

Rich Mountain Loop

Another one of the Cades Cove trails is the Rich Mountain loop, which begins very close to the parking area on the right. It is one of the best day hiking loops you'll find in the Smokies. Combining Rich Mountain Loop Trail with Crooked Arm Ridge and Indian Grave Gap trails makes for an 8.7 mile round trip hike.

Rich Mountain Loop

Spence/Russell Field Loop

There are two Cades Cove trails starting from the picnic area: Anthony Creek Trail (3.5 m) and Crib Gap Trail (1.6). Starting from the Anthony Creek trailhead, you can hike up to Bote Mountain Trail and on to the Appalachian Trail for a 13.2 mile loop hike. You'll find two backcountry shelters at Spence Field and Russell Field along the way.

Spence/Russell Field Loop

Rocky Top

There are a couple of ways to reach the legendary Rocky Top from Cades Cove trails. You can take Anthony Creek Trail to reach it in 6.6 miles (13.2 round trip) or Lead Cove Trail to reach it in 6.1 miles (12.2 round trip). You'll find the trailhead for Lead Cove about a mile before the entrance to Cades Cove, near Turkeypen Ridge and Finley Cane trails.

Rocky Top

Before you start your hike, be sure to familiarize yourself with a trail map of the Great Smoky Mountains. For more trails, check out our main hiking in the Smokies page to start all kinds of adventures.

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