Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountain National Park

Cades cove is the most visited destination in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
 
Cades Cove is an isolated valley located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In the 1800's the valley was home to numerous settlers whose main source of income came from logging and farming.   This activity was leading to massive deforestation.
 
The U.S. government negotiated with the cove residents to buy their land during the process of buying land into what became the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Most of the settlers were forced out by eminent domain, however. A few were able to stay for a nominal annual lease. The Cades Cove Primitive Baptist Church even maintained a small congregation until the 1960s, and the last resident died in 1999.
On the advice of cultural experts, the modern structures were demolished leaving the pioneer structures.  Cades Cove is now an open air museum with a number of preserved historic buildings including log cabins, barns, and churches. Cades Cove is the single most frequented destination in the national park, leaving visitors with the impression they have seen something wonderful and wholesome.
 
Self-guided automobile and bicycle tours offer the many sightseers a glimpse into the way of life of old-time southern Appalachia.  The Cove is best seen via Cades Cove Loop Road, a one-way, 11 mile (17.7 kilometer) paved loop road around Cades Cove that draws thousands of visitors daily, and can take over two-four hours to traverse during heavy tourist seasons.
 
The cove draws such attention more so from its reputation for wildlife.  At sunrise and dusk, the valley floor is filled with deer.  More Black Bear are found here than any other location.

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