At about 7 miles from Cade's Cove, you'll see a sign for Townsend. Deep streams converge at that intersection, which locals call "the Wye". FREE picnicking, sunbathing, tubing, swimming & kayaking, plus jump off the big boulders into the deepest part. Small parking lot & port-a-potty facilities.
TIP: Smoky Mountain River Rat has inner tube rentals & a shuttle that will drop you off at the Wye. Float down the river until you're back at River Rats OR the shuttle will pick you up anywhere along the road, just in case you're too tired to make the journey back!
After Traffic light #10 in Gatlinburg, you will enter the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Turn RIGHT at the Sugarlands Visitors Center & follow the road till you reach Cade's Cove.
*approximately 45 min. due to winding roads & max speed of 35mph
The Cade's Cove 11 mile, one-way loop features panoramic views, wildlife including deer & black bears, an 1800's grist mill, picnicking, bicycle rentals at campground store, plus explore settlers cabins, churches & cemeteries from the time before it became a National Park.
TIP: The loop is closed to vehicles from 7am - 10am on Wed. & Sat. mornings. For an incredible experience, rent a bicycle at the camp store & bike the loop without traffic. Bikes rent fast, so arrive early. Closed toe shoes required!
Attractions & Adventures:
Located 7 miles from Cade's Cove & known as "The Quiet Side of the Smokies". If you don't want all the traffic, trinkets & t-shirt shops....THIS nature lovers paradise is for YOU!
Townsend offers tubing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, bicycle trails, camping, a few shops & restaurants, horseback riding, plus explore Tuckaleechee caverns & the Heritage Center!
TIP: The Visitors Center offers free artists showings, plus clean restrooms & a nice gift shop!
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Turn at Traffic light #8 (Historic Nature Trail).
Go straight at the 3 way stop sign & follow signs into the forest.
Narrow road is NOT for large vehicles or trailers!
Enjoy picnicking, hiking, waterfalls, explore settlers cabins, streams,
scenic overlooks & watch for wildlife.
TIP: stop at Ely's Mill at the end of your journey for authentic & unusual souvenirs.
This is just some of the fun you'll have in the Smokies!