Cades Cove

10035 Campground Dr
Townsend TN  37883

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Cades Cove is an isolated valley located in the Tennessee section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA. The valley was home to numerous settlers before the formation of the national park. Today Cades Cove, the single most popular destination for visitors to the park, attracts more than two million visitors a year because of its well preserved homesteads, scenic mountain views, and abundant display of wildlife. The Cades Cove Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.GeologyGeologically, Cades Cove is a type of valley known as a "limestone window", created by erosion that removed the older Precambrian sandstone, exposing the younger Paleozoic limestone beneath. More weathering-resistant formations, such as the Cades sandstone which underlies Rich Mountain to the north and the Elkmont and Thunderhead sandstones which form the Smokies crest to the south surround the cove, leaving it relatively isolated within the Smokies. As with neighboring limestone windows such as Tuckaleechee to the north and Wear Cove to the east, the weathering of the limestone produced deep, fertile soil, making Cades Cove attractive to early farmers.The majority of the rocks that make up Cades Cove are unaltered sedimentary rocks formed between 340 million and 570 million years ago during the Ordovician Period. The Precambrian rocks that comprise the high ridges surrounding the cove are Ocoee Supergroup sandstones, formed approximately one billion years ago. The mountains themselves were formed between 200 million and 400 million years ago during the Appalachian orogeny, when the North American and African plates collided, thrusting the older rock formations over the younger formations.

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Categories: Historical Place, National Park




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Past Events

Wish Upon A Star Hike

Wish Upon A Star Hike
08:00 pm - 07/24/2016

At Cades Cove

See shooting stars in the Smoky Mountain night sky A million bright dots lie against the black void with a stunningly visible Milky Way in the background. It’s...

Stargazing Hike

Stargazing Hike
08:00 pm - 03/07/2016

At Cades Cove

A million bright dots lie against the black void with a stunningly visible Milky Way in the background. It’s just you and 7 other night owls, plus instructors...

Full Moon Road Ride

Full Moon Road Ride
07:00 pm - 10/27/2015

At Cades Cove

The moon's glow lights up the ridge-tops of the Smoky Mountains. Your bike's wheels hum over the blacktop road of Cades Cove, breaking the silence and stillness...

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