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Moonlight Tour of Cades Cove

Cades Cove is one of the most visited National Park attractions in the US.  While most visitors choose to tour “the Cove” by car, it can also be seen by bicycle or on foot.  The 11 mile loop is open from sunrise to sunset for cars, pedestrians, and bicycles.  However, it is closed to cars on Wednesdays and Saturday mornings before 10:00 a.m. (first weekend in May thru last weekend in September).  While much safer without the presence of cars, these mornings can still be congested with cyclists and pedestrians.

An alternative is to bike (or walk) the loop at night during a full moon, which provides a much more intimate look at the Cove without the congestion experienced during the daylight hours.

My wife Penny and I rode the loop on bicycles most recently on the full moon on September 8th, 2014.  The moon was rising over the mountains at 9:00 when we pulled into the parking lot where there were several parked cars with bike racks.  The temperature was in the 60’s which made for perfect riding conditions.  We quickly unloaded and got pedalling.  Moonlight in the Cove is much brighter without the intrusion of urban light pollution.  Horses, deer, and even a coyote could be seen in the pastures.  Churches and houses could also easily be identified without lighting.  We encountered several other bikers and one pedestrian, but were mostly by ourselves the entire loop and got back to the car at 10:15.

Touring the Cove at night time is an activity that cannot be fully described without personally experiencing it.  Below is all the information you need to do it yourself.

What you’ll need:

Bicycle (unless you choose to walk) – The entire loop is paved, so most any bike will do.  The route is somewhat hilly, so a geared bike is recommended.  A helmet is also a must.  Bicycles are available for sale or rent in Maryville at www.cycologybicycles.com.

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Lighting – Bring a high quality light mounted to the handlebars of your bicycle or one that you can carry if you are walking.  A headlamp can also be helpful whether you are walking or biking.  Also available at www.cycologybicycles.com or www.littlerivertradingco.com.

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Full Moon – visit http://www.calendar-365.com/moon/moon-calendar.html for moon phase calendar.  The day before or after are also good alternatives.  It is also best to wait for a clear night.

Full-Moon

Map – visit http://www.blountweb.com/cadescove/maps-misc/Cades_Cove_Loop_Map.pdf

cadescove-loop-map

The entire loop is well marked.  Recreational cyclists typically take about an hour and a half to complete the entire 11 mile loop including a few stops.  There are two options to cut the the ride to 4 miles (Hyatt Lane) or 8 miles (Sparks lane) for those seeking less of a challenge.

It is best to show up when the moon is already above the horizon.  Parking is located on the left as you enter Cades Cove.  There will be a closed gate you can walk around on the left side.

Take your time, be safe, and enjoy.  There is truly no other experience quite like it.

Feel free to contact me directly for specific questions.

~Harry

DISCLAIMER: Touring the Cove at night may not be officially permitted by the National Park Service.  It is a long time Blount County tradition that is certainly tolerated.  I have never been turned away or heard of anyone that has, but you should check if you want to be sure.  Also, as with any outdoor activity, there is an element of danger and you will be sharing this experience with wild critters that occupy the Cove (http://www.cadescove.net/wildlife_cades_cove.html).  Normal precautions apply (buddy system, stay on paved road, avoid startling or approaching wildlife, etc.).

Ben & Melissa Phillips

Liz worked diligently for more than eight months and through three different contracts to get our home sold.  She was always prompt and responsive to any questions we had, and she worked to get timely information from the buyer's agent as well.

Ben & Melissa Phillips

2014-08-29T18:37:18+00:00

Ben & Melissa Phillips

Liz worked diligently for more than eight months and through three different contracts to get our home sold.  She was always prompt and responsive to any questions we had, and she worked to get timely information from the buyer's agent as well.

Gerald & Linda Sperry

Melissa worked for months looking for that perfect house. She helped us through all the negotiations and issues that arose with patience and professionalism.

Gerald & Linda Sperry

2014-11-12T01:01:46+00:00

Gerald & Linda Sperry

Melissa worked for months looking for that perfect house. She helped us through all the negotiations and issues that arose with patience and professionalism.

Courtney Church

We finally closed on our new house! Michael did everything he could to get us to the closing, even through what seemed to be road blocks. He worked late at night if needed, stalked people that needed to be stalked, and answered the million questions I had, even if he had to ask somebody else. He also answered my phone calls every single time.

Courtney Church

2019-02-05T16:10:55+00:00

Courtney Church

We finally closed on our new house! Michael did everything he could to get us to the closing, even through what seemed to be road blocks. He worked late at night if needed, stalked people that needed to be stalked, and answered the million questions I had, even if he had to ask somebody else. He also answered my phone calls every single time.

Stephanie Milani

Melissa is the best! She brings accurate comp data, market savvy and a "whatever it takes" attitude to every listing. She knows what buyers are looking for and she guides her sellers through every step of the process. 

Stephanie Milani

2019-02-05T16:44:24+00:00

Stephanie Milani

Melissa is the best! She brings accurate comp data, market savvy and a "whatever it takes" attitude to every listing. She knows what buyers are looking for and she guides her sellers through every step of the process. 

Alysa Ikner

Brandon sold our home in Maryville in July 2018. It was on the market less than 10 days and we had competing offers OVER the asking price. It was so painless! Brandon also helped us buy our new home at the same time. He always made us feel like a top priority and did everything in his power to get things done efficiently. He was there every step of the way with us.

Alysa Ikner

2019-02-05T16:07:49+00:00

Alysa Ikner

Brandon sold our home in Maryville in July 2018. It was on the market less than 10 days and we had competing offers OVER the asking price. It was so painless! Brandon also helped us buy our new home at the same time. He always made us feel like a top priority and did everything in his power to get things done efficiently. He was there every step of the way with us.

Kelly Stone

We highly recommend Property Dad’s to anyone looking to buy a home in the Maryville area. Eric and Brett are both amazing! They are a great team! Eric was so helpful, right from the start. We had a specific idea of what area and type of house we wanted and they were diligent in the task of finding us just the right home for our needs. We couldn’t be happier with Property Dad’s and our home buying experience! Thanks again guys!

Kelly Stone

2019-02-05T17:04:10+00:00

Kelly Stone

We highly recommend Property Dad’s to anyone looking to buy a home in the Maryville area. Eric and Brett are both amazing! They are a great team! Eric was so helpful, right from the start. We had a specific idea of what area and type of house we wanted and they were diligent in the task of finding us just the right home for our needs. We couldn’t be happier with Property Dad’s and our home buying experience! Thanks again guys!

Chelsea Allison

Lane really listened to what we wanted and was quick to set up any showings we were interested in! He was professional, knowledgeable, and we really felt like he came through for us! This was our first home purchase and we will definitely call him again in the future! We are so happy with our home and the buying process was a breeze thanks to Lane! We can't thank him enough!

Chelsea Allison

2019-02-05T15:14:45+00:00

Chelsea Allison

Lane really listened to what we wanted and was quick to set up any showings we were interested in! He was professional, knowledgeable, and we really felt like he came through for us! This was our first home purchase and we will definitely call him again in the future! We are so happy with our home and the buying process was a breeze thanks to Lane! We can't thank him enough!

David Younts

Lane was a godsend. We were moving from out of state and didn't know the area well. He quickly got a great sense of what we were looking for and got us in to look at homes that we really loved. He even got us in to look at a few homes that weren't on the market yet. If you want someone who leaves no stone unturned, and who doesn't think twice about working long hours to meet your needs, Lane Shuler is your guy!

David Younts

2019-02-05T15:26:31+00:00

David Younts

Lane was a godsend. We were moving from out of state and didn't know the area well. He quickly got a great sense of what we were looking for and got us in to look at homes that we really loved. He even got us in to look at a few homes that weren't on the market yet. If you want someone who leaves no stone unturned, and who doesn't think twice about working long hours to meet your needs, Lane Shuler is your guy!

Chris Jenkins

Property Dads are awesome!! Eric Rice did a great job helping us sell and buy a new home as well as sell my parent’s home. They are very knowledgeable of the area, and they are honest, straight forward realtors! I highly recommend them to anyone looking to buy or sell their home!! Thank you for a great experience!!

Chris Jenkins

2019-02-05T17:08:11+00:00

Chris Jenkins

Property Dads are awesome!! Eric Rice did a great job helping us sell and buy a new home as well as sell my parent’s home. They are very knowledgeable of the area, and they are honest, straight forward realtors! I highly recommend them to anyone looking to buy or sell their home!! Thank you for a great experience!!

Taylor Jarrell

We love us some Property Dads! Brett helped us buy our first home, and it was a breeze! He was quick to answer any and all questions, and was quick to get us in to see the homes we were interested in. A+++ Recommend!

Taylor Jarrell

2019-02-05T17:08:58+00:00

Taylor Jarrell

We love us some Property Dads! Brett helped us buy our first home, and it was a breeze! He was quick to answer any and all questions, and was quick to get us in to see the homes we were interested in. A+++ Recommend!

Hope Watson

These guys are amazing! They are vested in the growth and well being of our community . Both Brett and Eric are not only wonderful realtors and professionals in every sense of the word, but they are simply GREAT PEOPLE! I highly recommend the PROPERTY DADS!

Hope Watson

2019-02-05T17:09:25+00:00

Hope Watson

These guys are amazing! They are vested in the growth and well being of our community . Both Brett and Eric are not only wonderful realtors and professionals in every sense of the word, but they are simply GREAT PEOPLE! I highly recommend the PROPERTY DADS!

Ryan & Kit McCaffrey

Lori was incredible to work with. She knows the area extremely well, and treated us as if we were her only clients. She was never pushy with us, and seemed to be one step ahead of us all the time. She is not a typical realtor who is out to make money. Lori truly wants her clients to find the right home for them. She's about helping people.

Ryan & Kit McCaffrey

2019-02-05T17:36:52+00:00

Ryan & Kit McCaffrey

Lori was incredible to work with. She knows the area extremely well, and treated us as if we were her only clients. She was never pushy with us, and seemed to be one step ahead of us all the time. She is not a typical realtor who is out to make money. Lori truly wants her clients to find the right home for them. She's about helping people.

Dave & Karri LeGault

Working with Lori was a wonderful experience. Purchasing our home in TN was quite a lengthy process. For over 9 months, we stayed in contact with Lori through selling our home in MA, moving to TN and renting, looking at homes, etc,... Every step of the way, Lori was patient and supportive. Even post the closing of our home we are still in contact regularly. We feel she was not only our realtor but also our friend.

Dave & Karri LeGault

2019-02-05T17:39:06+00:00

Dave & Karri LeGault

Working with Lori was a wonderful experience. Purchasing our home in TN was quite a lengthy process. For over 9 months, we stayed in contact with Lori through selling our home in MA, moving to TN and renting, looking at homes, etc,... Every step of the way, Lori was patient and supportive. Even post the closing of our home we are still in contact regularly. We feel she was not only our realtor but also our friend.

Jedd & Melissa Krintz

Lori was excellent to work with. She helped us to list and sell out house in just over a month, and also find a new home. She helped us get a great deal on both ends. She was always extremely prompt and organized and just a joy to work with. She turned a stressful event into a fun event!

Jedd & Melissa Krintz

2019-02-05T17:40:59+00:00

Jedd & Melissa Krintz

Lori was excellent to work with. She helped us to list and sell out house in just over a month, and also find a new home. She helped us get a great deal on both ends. She was always extremely prompt and organized and just a joy to work with. She turned a stressful event into a fun event!

John Ross Conley

My family was able to land house that we love and is exactly what we were looking for. Without the Griders, we would probably not seen the house in time to view it, let along, make an offer. They were equally as thrilled for us to get the house as we were. They wanted nothing more than for us to find our home and were willing to do what was necessary to get that done. They were genuinely happy for us.

John Ross Conley

2019-02-05T17:53:43+00:00

John Ross Conley

My family was able to land house that we love and is exactly what we were looking for. Without the Griders, we would probably not seen the house in time to view it, let along, make an offer. They were equally as thrilled for us to get the house as we were. They wanted nothing more than for us to find our home and were willing to do what was necessary to get that done. They were genuinely happy for us.

Alyssa Hoo

My husband and I recently bought our home in Maryville and it is all thanks to Rachel!! She is amazing! We were looking for a home while living in a different city. She was very flexible with our schedule and helping show homes to us and she even made arrangements for other people in her group to show us homes while she was on a business trip. We had a limited time frame and she helped us find the home we wanted.

Alyssa Hoo

2019-02-05T19:58:59+00:00

Alyssa Hoo

My husband and I recently bought our home in Maryville and it is all thanks to Rachel!! She is amazing! We were looking for a home while living in a different city. She was very flexible with our schedule and helping show homes to us and she even made arrangements for other people in her group to show us homes while she was on a business trip. We had a limited time frame and she helped us find the home we wanted.

Tommy and Patsy Gilbert

Cyndi made everything go smoothly when we bought the property on Redbud Drive. Her effective and professional approach during the entire process made things go smoothly, and it was a pleasure to work with her.

Tommy and Patsy Gilbert

2019-02-06T19:06:17+00:00

Tommy and Patsy Gilbert

Cyndi made everything go smoothly when we bought the property on Redbud Drive. Her effective and professional approach during the entire process made things go smoothly, and it was a pleasure to work with her.

Brandi Heidelberg

Tina is amazing! She made buying a home easy and comfortable! Highly recommend her to anyone looking to buy or sell!

Brandi Heidelberg

2019-02-12T02:16:07+00:00

Brandi Heidelberg

Tina is amazing! She made buying a home easy and comfortable! Highly recommend her to anyone looking to buy or sell!

Phyllis Tiller

Glad to have met you Tina. Thanks for all your help and guidance thru the process. Best wishes to you and your family!

Phyllis Tiller

2019-02-12T02:17:01+00:00

Phyllis Tiller

Glad to have met you Tina. Thanks for all your help and guidance thru the process. Best wishes to you and your family!

Chris Carter


Cindy is a fantastic professional to have on your team in any real estate transaction.
Her attention to detail is phenomenal and she went above and beyond to make sure all of the pieces came together to ensure a quick sale at a great price.

Chris Carter

2019-02-14T01:39:40+00:00

Chris Carter

Cindy is a fantastic professional to have on your team in any real estate transaction. Her attention to detail is phenomenal and she went above and beyond to make sure all of the pieces came together to ensure a quick sale at a great price.