My Wanderlust is 100% the fault of my Dad. He has always inspired curiosity and exploration. While visiting me in Seymour, TN recently we decided to head over to Cades Cove and drive their 11 mile, one way loop tour. It’s a valley abundant in wildlife, historic buildings and majestic mountain views.
We bought a $1 map at the entrance and started cruisin’. My love of the Beatles is also his fault so we dug into my CDs for our Loop Road soundtrack. My Pops’ first pick was “With the Beatles” from 1963 because he said it reminded him of the excitement he felt when he first discovered this new kind Rock N Roll.
“It won’t be long yeh, yeh, yeh
It won’t be long yeh, yeh, yeh
It won’t be long yeh, till I belong to you”
– The Beatles With the Beatles
Open sunrise to sunset this loop circles Cades Cove peppered with pull offs to stop and soak in the view or hike a trail. There are also old buildings and churches you can check out along the way.
We were there in the afternoon so the only animals we spotted were crows, a turkey, a deer and squirrels. I’m pretty sure there was a bear or something cool near the road because the traffic built up for a bit and some rangers were shooing something back into the woods.
There is a concentration of buildings by the visitor center including a working grain mill where you can see how it all happens. I enjoyed strolling around and getting a peek into the past.
I think my favorite part was the ranger, sitting on a front porch and playing his harmonica. It totally set the mood.
Driving the loop took us a while longer than I thought but we also stopped a lot. One thing to note… there are no bathrooms along the way and nowhere to buy a drink or snack so go prepared with a picnic. I was hoping the visitor center would have something but the only thing they had was warm bottled water. Boo. I also read that if you want to try and see some wildlife the best time is early in the morning or near dusk.
For more info on Cades Cove and it’s long history check out their website here.