The 'Wye' - 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!
TIP: Smoky Mountain River Rat has tube rentals & a shuttle that will drop you off at the Wye. Tube down the river until you reach River Rats OR the shuttle will pick you up anywhere along the road in Townsend, just in case you are too tired to make the journey back! www.smokymtnriverrat.com
Attractions & Adventures:
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail - turn at Traffic light #8 (Historic Nature Trail).
Go straight at the stop sign & follow signs.
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. www.elysmill.com
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Cade's Cove - after Traffic light #10, 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.
*45 min. to 1 hour from Gatlinburg 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 this was 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 interference! Bikes rent fast, so arrive early & wear closed toe shoes (required), not sandals. www.cadescovetrading.com
Townsend - located about 7 miles from Cade's Cove & is known as "The Quiet Side of the Smokies" for a reason. If you don't want all the traffic, trinkets & t-shirt shops....THIS is the place for you! Geared towards nature lovers, Townsend features tubing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, bicycle trails, camping, a few shops & restaurants, horseback riding, plus explore Tuckaleechee caverns & the Heritage Center! www.smokymountains.org
TIP: The Visitors Center offers free artists showings, plus clean restrooms & a nice gift shop!