Golden sunlight covers the fields in Cades Cove
August 15, 2013

One of the most popular areas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Cades Cove. Each year many tourists arrive to explore the hiking and horseback riding trails that are available in this section of the park. A major part of the allure is the flora and fauna that can be found.

One of the more popular trails that are suitable for all levels of hikers is the Cades Cove Nature Trail. Inexperienced hikers can enjoy an easy hike without too much exertion along this two-mile trail. The best times to view the beauty found along this trail are during the fall when the leaves of the native maples and sourwood turn a brilliant red and during the spring as the dogwoods come into bloom. Early summer is a great time to view the many varieties of wildflowers that are native to the area including Butterfly Weed, Queen Anne's Lace, and the Yellow Fringed Orchid.

Part of the history of this trail lies in the remains of the chestnut groves that were very vital to the local economy of the farmers and the wildlife that inhabited the forest. The chestnut trees were wiped out throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park because of blight during the 1800s. Until this time, farmers used the chestnuts with their high caloric content to fatten their livestock in preparation for slaughter. All that is left of this once majestic grove is scant chestnut sprouts that serve as a reminder of what once was.

Visitors to the park will find many places to stay after a day of hiking and exploring. Parkside Cabin Rentals in Gatlinburg is the perfect choice for lodging near Cades Cove. Parkside offers beautifully furnished cabins and chalets with private hot tubs, pool tables, fireplaces and jacuzzis. Be sure to check out our specials when planning your next trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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