Tennessee Side Travel Guide

Tennessee Side

The Tennessee side of the park, like the nearby tourism-oriented communities of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, gets a lot of visitors. Some 2 million people a year tour Cades Cove, and on a busy fall weekend the traffic on the Cades Cove Loop may remind you of midtown Manhattan, without the taxis and rideshares. The Tennessee side also has the largest and busiest campgrounds and picnic areas. A November 2016 fire burned down 11,000 acres of the park, killed 14 people, and destroyed about 2,700 homes and businesses in the Gatlinburg area. Driving U.S. Route 441 on the Tennessee side, you can still see blackened and fallen trees near the road, though the fire left some areas untouched. The worst fire damage was in remote areas away from main roads. Nearly all trails and facilities are now operating normally.


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