How to Bike Cades Cove? Find Answers to This and Many More Questions in Our Article!
Great Smoky Mountains – a Place for Cades Cove Biking
The most famous and most visited by tourists park in the USA, the Great Smoky Mountains, finds itself between two states, Tennessee and North Carolina. Great Smoky Mountains is also under the protection of UNESCO and is situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are part of the Appalachian Mountains. This national park is considered one of the most beautiful places in America, and people say that once you visit it, you will fall in love with it. About twice as many people visit it as the famous Grand Canyon Park. Every year it is visited by more than 10 million tourists.
Interesting fact: at the beginning of the Great Smoky Mountains Park from the side of Cherokee, North Carolina, ends the amazingly beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway (one of the most beautiful roads in the world), which begins at Shenandoah Park in Virginia. By the way, the Great Smoky Mountains Park is also part of the famous Appalachian Trail, which stretches more than 3,500 miles through the mountains from Maine in the very north to Georgia closer to the south. The Appalachian Trail on the East Coast of the United States is almost the same as the Pacific Crest Trail for those living on the West Coast.
One of the reasons for this is that admission to the Great Smoky Mountains is completely free all year round! But such huge attendance can’t be sole because of free admission, right? The Great Smoky Mountains has a huge variety of natural attractions and many forms of entertainment to offer, such as camping in tents, hiking, and Cades Cove bicycle riding. There are also many species of wildlife, stunning views from observation decks, and mountain streams that form a myriad of waterfalls. Most importantly, the park has a well-developed tourist infrastructure, with campsites, lodges, and visitor centers, as well as easy access to its attractions.
The park also has more than a thousand kilometers of hiking trails, both easy and challenging, where experienced hikers and climbers can prove themselves. That’s why the Great Smoky Mountains are so famous among hikers.
It is also very popular among cyclists, both motorcyclists, and bicyclists. Cades Cove, which is part of the famous National Wildlife Refuge, is well-equipped with the Cades Cove Campground store and bike rental with amazing service and comfort for tourists. As well, this National park attracts bird watchers and photographers from around the world. After all, its name the park of the Smoky Mountains did not get by chance. The famous haze, which is especially visible in the morning, is the main value of the park. Often wrapping the blue mountains in a milky cradle, the park has become one of the most photographed places in the United States today. To a great extent, it is better to bike Cades cove in the way to become a part of the ecosystem, as just driving through the park you will not experience the best feelings from the tour.
Cades Cove Bike Ride Tips
Every visitor has the opportunity to ride a bicycle on most of the roads in the park. But it is worth considering that because of the mountainous terrain of the park, because of the lack of wide roads with proper pavement and the huge number of tourists in cars, which often create large traffic jams, not all roads of the national park are suitable for comfortable and, more importantly, safe cycling.
Fortunately, Great Smoky Mountains Park has Cades Cove. Cades Cove is a wide green valley surrounded by mountains. One of the best ways to see the park with all its scenic views is to take your whole family for a bike ride! There are smooth and comfortable bicycle paths for you to ride through and see all the wildlife in the park. Cars will not interfere with your enjoyment of the ride, as the loop is closed to car traffic from May 5 to September 1. Here are the best opportunities to learn about life in the mountains, where people have settled since the 1920s. It is here that a special road for bicycles, the Cades Cove bike loop road, is set up. This road is one of the most popular places for bicycle enthusiasts. How long is Cades Cove Loop? It is approximately 11 miles long and is a one-way road. Why is it so popular and attractive among cyclists? There are many factors, such as the convenience of biking and the infrastructure, the ability to rent and repair bikes, the safe roads, and of course, while biking Cades Cove, you will observe the wildlife, the incredible scenery, and the 19th-century mansions. When does Cades cove bike rental start its work and where to rent a Cades Cove bike?
It starts in early summer and finishes in late fall and early winter. You can pick up a bike at a special store near Cades Cove Campground. Rental of the Cades cove bikes only works on a first-come, first-served concept, so it is better to come earlier (the rental starts its work at 7 am and stops renting service at 3 pm) to surely have free bikes to rent. Mostly, they have Fuji cruiser bikes, which you can use for the Cades Cove loop road bicycle trip. Adult bike rentals are $9 per hour, kids are $6 per hour. (865)448-9034 – the phone number of the Cades Cove bicycle rental, where you can get all the details and know the price for bikes.
Our recommendation: it’s best to plan your trip before Memorial Day or just after Labor Day, as that’s when there are the least tourists, and you’ll have a chance to be alone with nature and rent a discounted bike. It is better to have the Cades Cove loop map, so you can easily find the rental place and plan your trip ahead.
How Long Does It Take to Bike Cades Cove Loop?
The whole road is about 11 miles, however, it has two turnoffs at two different places for you to shorten the bicycle ride. While riding the loop, you will have the opportunity to see dozens of historic churches, buildings, and workplaces of former residents, who lived there in the 19th and 20th centuries. As well, there is access to various trailheads for hiking. The whole trip may take up to 3-4 Cades Cove biking hours with the visiting sightseeing and taking pictures.
Our Recommendations for a Great Time on Bikes
Take a car-free ride through the Cades Cove Valley. As we’ve written before, the best time to ride a bike is between May 5 and September 1, because that’s when traffic is closed on Wednesdays and you don’t have to stand in traffic among cars. But note that the road is only closed for 12 hours! For the remaining 6 days, it’s best not to bike there, as you’ll just choke on the carbon monoxide from the cars that are stuck in traffic. Also, be prepared for the fact that many people know about this car-free day, so it’s best to arrive early and rent a bike without waiting in line.
Cades Cove Loops: 11, 8, and 4 Miles
As you have learned, you can easily find a loop that is right for you, depending on your fitness and the time you can spare. You can walk or run the 11-mile road, which, by the way, is completely paved, or you can spend the time riding the Cades Cove bicycle only on the flat road in a couple of hours.
If you intend to take a shorter route and take smaller loops, remember that the 4-mile loop called Sparks Lane and the 8-mile loop called Hyatt Lane are unpaved and not suitable for comfortable riding. Due to this fact, this may take more Cades Cove bicycle hours than expected. The Hyatt Lane 8-Mile Loop is a very scenic road that allows you to see the amazing views and wildlife of the preserve without climbing the hills. Even though the road is unpaved, you can ride your bike on it, but be prepared to get a little dirty. We find this road to be a good alternative to the 11-mile road.
The 4-mile loop located on Sparks Lane is less bike-friendly and in bad weather, when the water fills the creeks, you will be cut off. Check the weather conditions in advance, so you don’t get wet and stuck there until the weather improves.
Where Else Can You Ride a Bike in the Great Smoky Mountains?
Other places a bicyclist would feel comfortable are the roads in the Tremont and Greenbrier areas of Tennessee. In addition to these two roads, the Lakeview Drive and Catalucci Valleys in North Carolina are also good places to ride. As we’ve written before, get a map for your convenience.
Unfortunately, in places where cars and bikes make the road, it is very difficult to talk about safety, and it is a big problem. The Tennessee state government has passed a regulation that all bicyclists are required to wear a helmet, especially children under the age of 16. It is also advisable to equip your bicycle with rear-view mirrors and reflective sensors. It is also recommended that you ride on paved roads and obey all traffic laws.
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