April 8, 2009

Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Part II

Our favorite place in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Cades Cove. The beautiful valley is surrounded by mountains and is accessible by a one-way auto loop. Throughout the 11-mile trip, you will see wildlife and numerous historic buildings, including a grist mill, barns, churches, and log homes. It was a challenge to pick a brief sampling of pictures for you, to give you a taste and feel for this treasured setting. If you ever get to visit, be prepared to take your time and get out of your car along the route to explore and enjoy the natural beauty.

This is a view from the southern part of the cove loop road.

This is a view from the northern part of the cove loop road. The tiny little dots in the valley are deer.

Hey, look! I just got closer to one of these beauties!

And this one was so tame, I got within about 15 feet of it while it grazed!

And we also got to see quite a few wild turkeys (the fowl kind; not the tourists, LOL).

On the bank of Forge Creek is the old John Cable grist mill, constructed in 1868. Features include a wooden overshot water wheel, millrace, and flume. This is the only grist mill that remains in the park.

Adjacent to the mill is the Becky Cable house, the first frame house in the cove. Built in 1879, it was once used as a general store.

One of the popular stops along the route is the Tipton Place homestead, built in the 1880s. How many stories can this back porch tell?

A beautiful double-cantilever barn is right across the lane from the Tipton home.

And nestled in the woods is the picturesque and rustic Carter Shields cabin, which dates back to the 1880s. Doesn't this scene look like it came right out of a storybook?

I hope that you enjoyed my little visual journey, and it makes you want to hop in the car and see this grand park for yourself!


  1. What beautiful pictures and gorgeous scenery. Thank you for being my eyes and allowing me to see a part of the country I haven't seen before!

  2. That cabin is unreal! Thanks for the "trip" along with you in the Smokies!

  3. I just love the Smokey Mountains. Your pics are great and remind me of a brief visit we had there a couple year ago. And I love the TV series, Christy, filmed there several years ago. We have it on DVD and watch the entire series about once a year. Glad you had such a great trip.

  4. Beautiful photos . I love all those buildings .

  5. Great pictures my friend. I love the picture of the mill. Great angle!
    Big hugs to you.

  6. ALL of your travel stories and pictures make me want to jump in my car and go there!

  7. Really great photos Donna! Love the last one. Can you actually go in the Carter shields cabinn? What a beautiful place to visit!

  8. Thanks, everyone! I hope that I am inspiring some of you to get that traveling done while you can!

    Joan - Yes, you can go into all the buildings, including that little cabin. It was at the end of the loop. I didn't walk up there because of my knee and I was already getting a bit tired.

  9. How I hope I one day will get to visit there.
    I loved the water wheel pic,They always seem so romantic??
    The views and deer are just amazing!!

  10. I would love to live in one of those cabins, how beautiful it is down there, I haven't been in years

  11. Thank you for sharing these gorgeous picks and the history behind them! I feel like I just hopped in the car with you on this journey! Beautiful & lovely..I thoroughly enjoyed!

  12. It's beautiful and I so enjoyed touring with you!

  13. BEAUTIFUL!! THANKS for sharing the trip with us.. love that area!!

  14. I love these pictures, what treasures you found.


Marty, here! Donna loves comments, and I faithfully pass them on to her. Thank you so much for visiting!