If you’ve ever visited East Tennessee, you know that Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains is a must-see spot. Many people don’t understand that Cades Cove hosts millions of visitors each year. If the Cove isn’t kept up with regular restorations, the history and land would quickly fall apart and would be a lot less beautiful for visitors.
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Before the national park was created, families created small communities in the Cove. Their lifestyle depended on farming and livestock. Their animals would graze the land, which meant no maintenance was necessary from the people who lived there.
National park crews are working hours and hours to make sure Cades Cove is preserved for years to come. Over time, Cades Cove has lost some of its natural habitats and natural meadows, which were once home to a variety of birds and small animals. When the meadows began to diminish, the species found their natural habitats elsewhere.
With the goal to restore some of the meadows in Cades Cove, there is hope that many of the species will return to the Cove, and make it their home once again. Here’s how the National Park Service is making changes:
- They will continue to mow areas near the Cades Cove Loop Road, so wildlife viewing is easier for visitors (and the land is easier to graze for animals).
- The National Park Service will plant native meadow species such as Indian grass, blue stem and sunflower. This will encourage native plants to continue to spread throughout the national park. The National Park Service continues to discourage the growth of non-native plants, too.
To learn more about Cades Cove from the National Park Service, check out their website at this link: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/cadescove.htm
Overall, these restorations will help visitors to the area as well as the wildlife in the Cove. With the small changes, visitors will be able to appreciate the area’s historic buildings, wildlife and land. Don’t forget to pack your camera, and make sure to wear comfortable shoes so you can park and walk around the Cove.
Are you trying to get to Cades Cove? Don’t worry. From Gatlinburg, the trip seems lengthy, but it’s such a beautiful drive, you won’t even notice the time. In the summer, it can take an hour to an hour and a half to get to Cades Cove from Gatlinburg, but we promise it’s worth the trip.
Do you want to plan a trip to Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains to see the ongoing restoration projects? For your stay, check out Amazing Views Cabin Rentals’ selection of affordable Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge cabins. Then, give us a call at (855) 849-8977 to speak with our vacation experts about planning your stay.