(N 35.6047, W -83.7748): Cyclists are welcome on the 11-mile scenic loop at all times but the best idea is to ride early on Wednesday or Saturday when the loop road is closed until 10 am so cyclists (and pedestrians) rule the road. This is the perfect time to breeze through the valley and really see wildlife. Two gravel roads bisect the loop permitting an extended figure eight that lengthens the ride. If that’s your plan, stay at Cades Cove Campground and start early. The Campground itself is a nice bike spot—and it offers bike rentals! Be sure to check out the various historic structures along the way. Keep in mind that the Parson Branch Road makes a nice out and back addition to the loop in the vicinity of Cable Mill Visitor’s Center.
Directions: From the US 321/TN 73 intersection in Townsend, drive 2.3 miles into the park and go right onto Laurel Creek Rd. at the junction where TN 73 continues left as Little River Rd. From here, the Cades Cove Loop is 7.5 miles. At 5.1 miles, turn right on a half-mile access road to the trailhead.