|Cades Cove Meadow, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee © Doug Hickok|
When the Great Smoky Mountain National Park was established, the plan was to allow Cades Cove to return to its natural, original condition. But the plan was changed when park authorities decided to keep the meadows intact, and to preserve the old cabins, churches and mills.
Today a loop road encircles the secluded mountain valley making it possible for modern day visitors to get a glimpse of the 1800's, of a place that seems like a time capsule of pioneer life 150 years ago. You can see part of the loop road (along the fence line) in this picture, which also shows smoky mists rising from the valley.