Explore the most popular scenic driving trails in Tennessee with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

on Cades Cove Loop Road

scenic driving
1 day ago

Absolutely beautiful view. A good place to view the mountains from the ground level. We even saw a few animals, black bear, fox, turkeys, deer. A few of old houses.

scenic driving
3 days ago

Beautiful drive! We were there when the fog was hanging around. It made the view even more beautiful! Definitely would go back!

scenic driving
3 days ago

Beautiful, easy drive! We loved the falls on the side of the road. We went at about 5 pm and found very little traffic. The directions definitely take you to the “out” end of the drive! We would definitely take this drive again.

Love driving this motor trail. There’s so much scenery and places to pull over to walk around and see the waterfalls and a few old historical buildings. Also Ely’s Mill at the end is a must visit.

This is a short hike with a great, refreshing reward at the end. Beautiful! We will hike this one again.

Nice hike with nice falls. We added busby falls to the loop just to play in the water more

Great drive through GSM.

That said, I’d avoid this during busy times...

We came with our four kids, ages 2, 4, 6, and 8. We decided to go counterclockwise which I think was the right move. We already got the payoff of seeing the falls before we had to climb up the stairs, so we had no choice. :) We had the youngest boy in an Ergo, but the older girls all handled the trail—and the stairs—just fine. The trail was clearly-marked, but it did help to have downloaded the map from AllTrails just to be sure we were on the right path.

The falls were incredible, some of the best we’ve seen around. We really loved that the pools are wade-able, and you don’t have to decide you want to go swimming in the cold to get close. Combine that with a really wide, really beautiful cascading waterfall, this one is near the top of our list.

The loop didn’t open until 10 am so unfortunately didn’t beat the crowd. Cars were bumper to bumper. A few trails off the loop were good but loop itself was not worth making the trip for. One bear so far away you couldn’t tell what it was without binoculars. Cars were too back up to get a good glimpse.

Amazing views definitely worth the sketchy switch back drive. You don’t “need” four wheel drive as I didn’t use it once but you NEED clearance due to large rocks on the road and rugged conditions. When you get to the top follow the blacktop that will lead you to a makeshift parking lot from there it’s a 15 minute walk to the stunning cliffs.

scenic driving
24 days ago

Saw a bear near the end! Great views!

scenic driving
26 days ago

Beautiful views! Interesting historical buildings. Plenty of places to pullover and enjoy the view without feeling rushed. Highly recommend for an easy scenic drive.

Pretty easy hike. We took our 3 boys: 5, 6 years and a 5 month old in a baby carrier. The down slope wasn’t bad as long as you take it slow. We will definitely be back!

hiking
30 days ago

I need to go back and ride my bike early morning. I went during the afternoon and didn’t see any wildlife.

Amazing!!! Love it every time.

backpacking
1 month ago

Hike in was easy until you start dropping down to the falls, it had rained day before so it was a little slick in spots, had to watch where you were stepping for sure. The rain had made the falls run really full, it was beautiful! Hike out was super easy!

Directions from this site take you to the "out" end of this mostly one-way route. The directions need to start the driver off Cherokee Orchard Rd.

Absolutely gorgeous waterfall, the hike wasn’t bad other than a bit slippery after the rain we’ve had. Looking forward to going back during the Fall & winter.

The view was spectacular. You can see for miles and miles.

it was an overcast day just after a rain storm. the trail was not crowded and very easy for the family. the waterfall was specracular.

backpacking
1 month ago

Very cool. A lot of spots to pull off the road and check out along the way

road biking
1 month ago

An easy ride on a paved loop. Rent bikes at the Cade Cove Campground $7.50 per hr. The deer and bears are out in the morning. Start the ride early, the bike shop opens at 6:30am. The loop road is closed on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 6:30am to 10:00 am to vehicle traffic, but open to foot and bike traffic.

hiking
1 month ago

Arrived a little after 9 AM on a Saturday, waterfall was relatively empty with only two other groups there.

Park at water tower, trail is across the water tower (opposite side over the road)

Trail to me, was easily marked..
- WHITE marked trees — Machine Falls
- BLUE marked trees — Bugsby Falls

beautiful drive. great way to experience the park with kids, or those that are unable to make it for extended hikes. many opportunities for hikes based on this driving route too.

Beautiful waterfall! Went 6/27 in between rain storms. The way it’s nestled it’s like a hidden treasure. We got there around noon and no one was there. Then there were about 10 people that came in different groups. Perfect for wading, no deep spots. Saw a few salamanders by the rocks too.

Pretty easy hike. I brought my dog who is still a puppy and he did great. There is a point where you kinda have to walk along the creek or in it if you don't go across the bridge, I thought it was more fun. You might as well walk along the water because if you want to see the falls up close - you're going to get wet. I went late in the afternoon around 7 and there wasn't a single person there and it was straight up beautiful.

Also if you do plan to walk around the falls I'd wear water shoes, the ground is uneven and rocky and hurt! I will admit to having been unprepared in that department as this was a spur of the moment trip. Well worth it!

I have lived nearby my whole life and can't remember ever seeing this. It was really busy because of the weather and season, but still enjoyed stopping and walking around.

scenic driving
1 month ago

Favorite part of my trip! Get here early, lots of traffic but views are fantastic!

hiking
1 month ago

I loved this trail. I did the trail clockwise, heading through the woods for a little over a mile, along side the creek part of the way. There were two spots along the wooded path where you have to cross water but it's shallow and there are rocks in place.

The path was a bit over grown in parts but manageable.

Once you get down to the Waters edge, you can make your way across it to get all the way to the base of the falls. If you don't mind getting wet, wade right through! I managed to stay dry and sat and had a bite to eat there.

A small word of advice for non hikers on the trail .... the trail and falls are gorgeous. Keep them that way. If you pack it in....pack it out. The trash along the way wasn't bad but it was noticable. Let's keep our parks clean eh?

Highly recommend this hike. The stars are the end are the only killer haha.

scenic driving
1 month ago

This always gets high reviews but both times I've gone I was underwhelmed. Also, people stop for everything and once you are in loop it is hard to get back out if you don't want to wait.

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