Cades Cove - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Laurel Falls & Elijah Oliver Place
Cades Cove - Cades Cove is a broad, verdant valley surrounded by mountains and is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smokies. It offers some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing in the park. Large numbers of white-tailed deer are frequently seen, and sightings of black bear, coyote, ground hog, turkey, raccoon, skunk, and other animals are also possible.
Laurel Falls - Laurel Branch and the 80-foot high Laurel Falls are named for mountain laurel, an evergreen shrub which blooms along the trail and near the falls in May. The waterfall consists of an upper and a lower section, divided by a walkway which crosses the stream at the base of the upper falls.
Elijah Oliver Place - Elijah Oliver, the son of John and Lucretia Oliver, was born in Cades Cove in 1824. Today you can visit the old Elijah Oliver Place via a short, easy 1.0 mile round-trip walk from the Cades Cove Loop Road. The site actually consists of several buildings in addition to the cabin giving one a rare glimpse of a complete Appalachian pioneer homestead. **Caution – Be careful to return on the same trail you arrived from as the other trails will return you to a different parking lot! We know and we had to walk an extra couple miles to find the parking lot where we left the car.
**Note – I have now purchased a hand held Garmin eTrex 30 to 'mark trail' so that never happens again!