Trail Name:  Cades Cove Scenic Loop

Length:  11 miles, (we usually ride it twice around) 

Best time to visit: Mid May through Mid September. Wednesday and Saturday mornings are free of vehicle traffic until 10:00am so get there by 7:00 and ride it twice before the cars get in. 

How to get there:
Turn right onto US-321 N/E Lamar Alexander Pkwy
1.2 mi
Continue straight onto E Lamar Alexander Pkwy
1.5 mi
Continue onto Townsend Entrance Rd
0.7 mi
Slight right onto Old State Hwy 73 Scenic
174 ft
Old State Hwy 73 Scenic turns right and becomes Laurel Creek Rd
7.4 mi
Continue onto Cades Cove Loop Rd parking on the left 

Recumbent issues: There are some short hills, but that affects all riders. 

Surface:  Paved.  In the spring you may have a few spots where water runs over the road, but nothing that will stop you. 

Description of trail:  This is a paved scenic loop that runs the perimeter of a valley surrounded by mountains.  There are restroom facilities at the start of the trail and halfway through.  There are also photo-worthy historic structures and sites along the way and maybe you will see a Black Bear, deer, turkeys, or other wildlife.”Cades Cove is an isolated valley located in the Tennessee section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA. The valley was home to numerous settlers before the formation of the national park” 

Why recumbent riders should try: It’s perfect to lie back, ride and enjoy the scenery all at your own pace. 

Tips for accommodations:There are numerous eateries, motels, cabins, or campgrounds in Townsend, TN which is the closest town.  There is a smallish market for food and drinks near the campground at Cades Cove itself.  There is NO cell phone service in the Cove so make your calls or texts in Townsend before you go. 

Trail markers: None needed, it’s a loop. 

Official trail website:

Author: Matt Hackman – Thank you Matt!