Hi there!

 

Cades Cove is one of the most popular areas of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. And what makes it popular is the slow-going one way road that is called the Cades Cove Loop Road.

And, there are many ways you can experience the Cades Cove Loop Road!

You can drive it, you can walk it, or…

You can bike the Cades Cove Loop Road!

Smoky Mountains biking Cades Cove scenic loop road. cades cove bike rental. cycling. what to bring for biking cades cove. what to pack for smoky mountains vacation. smoky mountains travel blog

Smoky Mountains biking Cades Cove scenic loop road. cades cove bike rental. cycling. what to bring for biking cades cove. what to pack for smoky mountains vacation. smoky mountains travel blog

Smoky Mountains biking Cades Cove scenic loop road. cades cove bike rental. cycling. what to bring for biking cades cove. what to pack for smoky mountains vacation. smoky mountains travel blog

Smoky Mountains biking Cades Cove scenic loop road. cades cove bike rental. cycling. what to bring for biking cades cove. what to pack for smoky mountains vacation. smoky mountains travel blog

Smoky Mountains biking Cades Cove loop road. cades cove bike rental. cycling. what to bring for biking cades cove. what to pack for smoky mountains vacation. smoky mountains travel blog

 

If you want to go biking in the Smoky Mountains, then Cades Cove is where you want to go!

Biking the Cades Cove Loop Road doesn’t have to be all that complicated. Basically bring your bike (or rent one when you get there), and off you go cycling on Cades Cove Loop Road!

 

Cades Cove loop road biking hours. distance. smokies travel blog

Cades Cove loop road biking in the Smoky Mountains. cycling cades cove route. tennessee tn. smokies travel blog

Cades Cove loop road biking in the Smoky Mountains. cycling cades cove route. tennessee tn. smokies travel blog

Cades Cove loop road biking in the Smoky Mountains. cycling cades cove route. tennessee tn. smokies travel blog

Cades Cove loop road biking in the Smoky Mountains. cycling cades cove route. tennessee tn. smokies travel blog

 

Still, there are a few things you may want to keep in mind as you plan for your Cades Cove bike ride! List below!

 

 

⛰🐻

 

 

 

1. The best days for biking Cades Cove are at times that are car-free.

Best time to bike Cades Cove. Cades Cove loop road with car traffic. when is cades cove closed to cars. smoky mountains travel blog

 

If you have flexibility during the time you’re in the Smoky Mountains, it will be best to plan your day trip to Cades Cove on a day that vehicle access to Cades Cove Loop Road is restricted.

Because… this. 👇
Best time to bike Cades Cove. Cades Cove loop road with car traffic. smoky mountains travel blog

Best time to bike Cades Cove. Cades Cove loop road with car traffic. smoky mountains travel blog

 

Of course, if your trip to the Smoky Mountains doesn’t work out so that you bike Cades Cove on a car-free day, well, it’s just all about the attitude! So just manage your expectations and mentally prepare for what it means to ride alongside cars!

 

 

2. In 2020, Wednesdays were car-free days.

Best time to bike Cades Cove. Cades Cove loop road with car traffic. when is cades cove closed to cars. smoky mountains travel blog

 

In previous years, there were just car-free mornings. In 2020, there were full days that were car-free.

Check the National Park Service website for updated info about the car-free times before you go.

 

 

3. Bring your own bike from home to your Smoky Mountains vacation!

Bring your own bike or bike rental at Cades Cove. smoky mountains travel blog

 



There are affiliate links on this page. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission from this.
 

 

4. If you have your own bike, then you can follow the signs straight to the Cades Cove Loop Road.

Right before the start of the loop road, you’ll find some parking spots where you can unload your bike… if you show up early (or late) enough.

 

Where to start biking Cades Cove. parking at start of cades cove loop road. smoky mountains travel blog

Where to start biking Cades Cove. parking at start of cades cove loop road. smoky mountains travel blog

Where to start biking Cades Cove. parking at start of cades cove loop road. smoky mountains travel blog

 

There’s also a little kiosk information spot at this parking area. Stop by here to get a $1 Cades Cove self-guided tour booklet! (Hopefully it’s stocked up!) If you still have time before your Smoky Mountains trip, then you can also get a $5 Smokies starter kit online that comes with a Cades Cove booklet. You can also buy this at a visitor center in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

 

 

5. There’s a Cades Cove campground store near the start of the Cades Cove Loop Road.

Store near Cades Cove bike ride. where to buy food and water. smoky mountains travel blog

 

If the parking lot is rather packed you’ll likely start see cars parked on the side of the road before you even approach the parking area in front of the loop road.

There is also a parking lot in front of the Cades Cove Campground Store and you can unload your bike there too. You’ll follow signs to the campground. This will lead you to the campground store parking lot.

 

Where to start biking Cades Cove. road to store parking lot. smoky mountains travel blog

Where to start biking Cades Cove. road to store parking lot. smoky mountains travel blog

Where to start biking Cades Cove. store parking lot. smoky mountains travel blog

Where to start biking Cades Cove. store parking lot. smoky mountains travel blog

 

 

6. The campground store is basically a convenience store.

At the Cades Cove campground store you can find some water and snacks, so if you want to stop by the campground store to load up on fuel before you start your bike ride, this may be a reason to park over here too.

You can get things like energy bars (Clif Bars) and granola bars (Nature Valley bars). You can also refuel after your bike ride with a smoothie drink (Naked Juice), chocolate milk, or even yogurt!

 

Store near Cades Cove bike ride. where to buy water. smoky mountains travel blog

Store near Cades Cove bike ride. where to buy food. smoky mountains travel blog

 

 

7. There’s a bike rack at the Cades Cove campground store.

Store near Cades Cove bike ride. where to buy food and water. smoky mountains travel blog

 

So really, no matter where you park, you can bike straight to the campground store for food and water before and/or after your bike ride!

 

 

8. You can rent a bike from the bike rental shop next to the Cades Cove Campground Store.

Cades Cove bike rental. where to rent bicycle in Cades Cove. smoky mountains travel blog

Cades Cove bike rental. where to rent bicycle in Cades Cove. smoky mountains travel blog

 

If you don’t want to bring your own bike from home, then you can also rent bikes near the start of the Cades Cove Loop Road. You’ll get a basic bike.

 

Cades Cove bike rental. where to rent bicycle in Cades Cove. what type of bike. smoky mountains travel blog

Cades Cove bike rental. where to rent bicycle in Cades Cove. what type of bike. smoky mountains travel blog

 

Also keep in mind that mornings of car-free days tend to be the busiest, so there is a chance there there may be no bikes available. (You may consider walking a shorter loop instead if that happens!)

 

 

9. The cost of Cades Cove bike rental is around $8 an hour.

If you’re staying at the Cades Cove Campground, then you can rent a bike for the day for $30. 

 

Cades Cove bike rental. cost to rent bicycle in Cades Cove. hourly, daily. smoky mountains travel blog

Cades Cove bike rental. cost to rent bicycle in Cades Cove. hourly, daily. smoky mountains travel blog

 

Prices subject to change! See current bike rental prices here.

 

 

10. You can pick up a Cades Cove Loop Road map in front of the campground store.

There is also a map posted near the bike rental shop if you want to take a picture of it.

 

Cades Cove biking map of Cades Cove loop road. smoky mountains travel blog

Cades Cove biking map of Cades Cove loop road. smoky mountains travel blog

Cades Cove biking map of Cades Cove loop road. smoky mountains travel blog

Cades Cove biking map of Cades Cove loop road. smoky mountains travel blog

 

You can also see the Cades Cove biking map (pdf) provided by the bike rental shop.

 

 

11. You can make it an 11+ mile bike ride, or you can make it a 4+ mile bike ride… or something in between! 

You can bike the entire loop, or there are 2 streets that cut across to make it into around a 4-5 mile bike ride or around an 8-9 mile bike ride. (See the map for the visual!)

You can cut across Sparks Lane and Hyatt Lane.

 

 

12. There are a few hills.

Cades Cove biking difficulty. hills. smoky mountains travel blog

Cades Cove biking difficulty. hills. smoky mountains travel blog

 

 

13. There may be a road or 2 flooded out.

Cades Cove biking difficulty. flooded roads. smoky mountains travel blog

Cades Cove biking difficulty. flooded roads. smoky mountains travel blog

Cades Cove biking difficulty. flooded roads. smoky mountains travel blog

 

 

14. You can stop by to see historic cabins.

The first cabin you’ll come across is the John Oliver Cabin.

Cades Cove biking loop road. biking to john oliver cabin. stops to make, how long of a bike ride in Cades Cove. historic cabin. smoky mountains travel blog

 

 

 

15. You can stop by to see historic churches.

Cades Cove biking loop road. biking to church. stops to make, how long of a bike ride in Cades Cove. historic church. smoky mountains travel blog

 

 

16. You can stop by to see a historic mill.

Cades Cove biking loop road. biking to cable mill. stops to make, how long of a bike ride in Cades Cove. historic mill. smoky mountains travel blog

 

 

17. You can stop for a waterfall hike!

If you want to make it a biking + hiking kind of day, then there’s the Abrams Falls Trail that you can hike to see waterfalls.

 

Cades Cove biking loop road. biking to abrams falls trail. stops to make, how long of a bike ride in Cades Cove. waterfalls hiking trail. smoky mountains travel blog

 

 

 

 

18. You can stop by the Cades Cove Visitor Center.

This is located about half way on the loop road. There’s a bathroom and if you didn’t bring enough water, you can buy water here.

 

Cades Cove biking loop road. stops to make. cades cove visitor center, historic mill. smoky mountains travel blog

Cades Cove biking loop road. stops to make. cades cove visitor center. where to buy water. smoky mountains travel blog

 

 

19. There’s the Cades Cove picnic area so you can have a picnic after your bike ride!

This is located outside the loop road.

 

Cades Cove biking to picnic area. smoky mountains travel blog

 

 

20. If you stay at the Cades Cove Campground, you can go for a morning bike ride to see the morning fog, and you can go for an evening bike ride to see the sunset over the valley!

The time of day you bike can offer you a different experience!

 

Best time to bike Cades Cove loop road. biking cades cove in the morning. smoky mountains travel blog

Best time to bike Cades Cove loop road. biking cades cove in the morning. smoky mountains travel blog

Best time to bike Cades Cove loop road. biking cades cove in the evening. cades cove sunset. smoky mountains travel blog

Best time to bike Cades Cove loop road. biking cades cove in the evening. cades cove sunset. smoky mountains travel blog

 

The Cades Cove Campground is among the popular campgrounds in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

 

 

21. Wear a bike helmet!

Biking Cades Cove loop road. what to bring for biking cades cove. what to pack for smoky mountains vacation. bike helmet. smoky mountains travel blog

 

If you’re bringing your own bike, don’t forget your helmet!

The Cades Cove bike rentals come with bike helmets. But if you’d rather not use a helmet where someone else’s sweaty head has been, be sure to bring a helmet too!

If you’re in the market for a bike helmet, Giro is a good bicycle helmet brand. Giro has MIPS helmets. MIPS stands for multi-directional impact protection system, and MIPS helmets are designed to better protect your brain if your head has a crash impact.

Search for a MIPS helmet on Amazon here.

Type into the search bar who you want a bike helmet for. (Example: women, men, adult, kids, girls, boys.)


 

 

22. Bring WATER and SNACKS!

Biking Cades Cove loop road. is it safe. bicycle safety tips for cades cove. water. smoky mountains travel blog

 

Also it’s a good idea to always have gallon jugs of water in your car for the duration of your Smoky Mountains trip so you never have to worry about running out of water!

 

 

23. Be safe out there!

Biking Cades Cove loop road. is it safe. bicycle safety tips for cades cove. smoky mountains travel blog

Biking Cades Cove loop road. is it safe. bicycle safety tips for cades cove. smoky mountains travel blog

Biking Cades Cove loop road. is it safe. bicycle safety tips for cades cove. bike helmet. smoky mountains travel blog

Biking Cades Cove loop road. is it safe. bicycle safety tips for cades cove when you see bears or elk. smoky mountains travel blog

Biking Cades Cove loop road hours. can you bike cades cove at night. smoky mountains travel blog

 

And try not to start your bike ride too late! And maybe bring bike lights just in case you end up riding past dark!

 

And that’s a bit about biking in Cades Cove!

Explore more of Cades Cove:

Plus see more of the Smokies:

 

HAPPY BIKING IN THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS ON CADES COVE SCENIC LOOP ROAD!

 

Smoky Mountains biking Cades Cove scenic loop road. cades cove bike rental. cycling. what to bring for biking cades cove. what to pack for smoky mountains vacation. smoky mountains travel blog

 

 

There are affiliate links on this page. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission from this.

Best shoes for hiking in the Smoky Mountains

You will want good shoes for hiking in the Smoky Mountains.

In general, the best shoes for hiking in the Smoky Mountains will be hiking boots (more ideal) or trail running shoes (more versatile for everyday activities compared to hiking boots but still will give you advantages compared to regular shoes).

I liked wearing my hiking boots for the thicker soles (good on rocky trails) and the waterproof (water resistant) nature of them.

They were especially helpful on rainy day hikes to keep my shoes (and socks!) dry! They are also better to be walking on mud compared to regular shoes.

On rougher terrain (like the trails that are a bit rougher with more rocks), hiking boots are more ideal so you won't feel it on the bottoms of your feet as much.

If you want shoes that can work out better as everyday "out and about" kind of shoes, then you might like trail running shoes better! Trail running shoes are a little more durable than regular shoes, so they can also work out as good hiking shoes. Trail running shoes are a bit lighter weight and less bulky compared to hiking boots.

Shoe fit is very important for your feet! Be sure to break in your new shoes by walking around the neighborhood and/or at the grocery store before you go on your "big hike" in the Smoky Mountains!

Shop for hiking boots: Merrell is popular and known as a good quality outdoor shoe brand for hiking

Shop for trail running shoes: Salomon is popular and known as a good quality outdoor shoe brand for trail running