Cades Cove Tennessee – A Leaf Spotter’s Dream

Fall in Cades Cove

This time of year, the leaves are beginning to change in Cades Cove Tennessee.  As the mountains and valleys shift from hues of green to splashes of red, yellow and orange you are sure to find that traffic increases and tourists begin the treks up the trails and the rides around Loop Road in Cades Cove.  Whether you view the sights from your vehicle, on a hayride or on horseback, you will not be disappointed.

When to Visit Cades Cove

Vacation Maybe Cades Cove Leaf Spotting

If you are curious about peak leaf spotting times for Cades Cove, look no further.  As someone who is local to the area, I am privy to the weather and the timing details.  Here are the best times for you to visit for colors at their peak.  You may even see a few critters as they are preparing for cold weather.

The higher elevations begin to light up with color at the beginning of October.  The color changes in Cades Cove, above 4,000 feet can be enjoyed on Clingman’s Dome Road, The Blue Ridge Parkway or Foothills Parkway.  If you’re up for a hike, you can hit the trails for a more personal experience.  Just don’t forget your camera!  Middle and lower elevations will see peak colors from Mid-October to early November.  You will see the heights and depths ablaze with colors from deep red and purple to bright yellow and orange.  It’s truly a sight to behold.

What to Bring to Cades Cove

Of course, you always need a camera when you visit “The Cove” as we locals call it.  Dress in layers, especially if you will be making your way up to the higher elevations.  You will want to be able to add a jacket or sweater as you climb and remove them as you return to lower elevations.  Temps can change more than 10 degrees as you travel up and down the mountains of Cades Cove.

Be sure you bring snacks, water, a first aid kit and be sure to plan your visit ahead of time.  Be prepared with maps and know where you are going.  It’s easy to get lost in the beauty but getting lost in the mountains, might not be quite what you have in mind when visiting Cades Cove.