Stop 10 – Elijah Oliver Place
Elijah was John Oliver’s son (his cabin at Stop 3). At the rear, you can see the “Stranger Room” built to accommodate people passing through without giving them access to the main cabin. See GreatSmokies.net for more info.
Past this stop (about 5 miles into the Loop), you’ll see a 3/10 mile gravel road to the right that leads to Abrams Falls trailhead.
Right around here, also, just before a bridge, was one of my favorite spots where I enjoyed a picnic lunch one day in August. I’ve stopped several times since then and it was never as pretty as it was this day. There was a slight mist hanging over the water, and to the left of this is a tree that has been gnawed by beavers. There’s a pull-off where you can park to the right and walk down a little path to this spot – a magical place for sure.
Stop 11 – Cable Mill Area
There are a complex of structures here, including a cantilever barn, blacksmith shop, sorghum furnace, corn crib, smokehouse, as well as a Visitor’s Center, so plan on enough time to cover it all. Check with the Visitor’s Center for when scheduled demonstrations of early life in the area are held. There’s also a little path to a stream that is peaceful and scenic, so don’t miss that. The picture shown above is the Gregg-Cable house, better known as “Aunt Becky’s.”
The grist mill is on its original site. Other historic buildings were brought from elsewhere in the park. More info from Smokies Adventure and Cades Cove Preservation Assn. From here you can take the side road, Forge Creek Road, to get to the Henry Whitehead Place (about 1/2 mile), or continue on the Loop. Parson Branch Road can also be accessed from here, an unimproved, one-way, primitive access road that leads to U.S. Hwy. 129. The sign recommends 4 wheel drive vehicles and you cannot get back onto the Loop from this road.
Stop 12 – Henry Whitehead Place
If you take Parsons Creek Road turnoff, you’ll get to this structure built here in 1898, and while at first it looks like a frame house, it’s actually built from square-sawed logs. This technique is known as a “transition” house, a link between regular log houses and frame houses built of sawed lumber.
This side view shows the back portion with kitchen and its “granny hole” feature, which allowed the person tending the fireplace with a view of the outside world. This is not only the only square-log home remaining in Cades Cove, but in the entire Great Smoky Mountains National Park. More info from SmokiesAdventure.com.
If you continue on Forge Creek Road past the Whitehead Place, there is a trailhead in about 1.5 miles where you can access Gregory Ridge Trail and the Appalachian Trail. There is a parking area with a turnaround where the road ends.
Once back on the Loop road or if you continue on after you pull out of Cable Mill, shortly thereafter to the right you’ll see a short gravel driveway that leads to Cable Cemetery.
Aunt Becky is buried here, along with others from the 1800s, including William Lequire who was with the Confederate Legion Mountaineers of the Confederate States Army.
Stop 13 – Shields Family
There is a sign and parking area, but no structures remain from the three families that lived in this area. To the right of the parking area is a dirt path that used to be a wagon road and there is a nature path you can take from here, but I never had the chance to walk it.
Stop 14 – Hyatt Lane – Another access point for this side road (also Stop 6) that will shortcut you out or take you back to cover the westbound leg of the Loop.
Stop 15 – Dan Lawson Place
Dan built his place in 1856, and since he was a very capable carpenter, the cabin features some of the finest woodwork of cabins still standing in Cades Cove today. He added a brick chimney from bricks made on-site, not a common feature at the time, and the property includes a smokehouse and granary.
Stop 16 – Tipton Place
“Col. Hamp” Tipton built here in the early 1870s. There are buildings on both sides of the road here, including a blacksmith shop, long shed, smokehouse and woodshed.
The cantilever barn is a replica of an earlier one that was in this same place.
Stop 17 – Carter Shields Cabin
This cabin is believed to have been in the 1830’s and was the home of Carter Shields, a wounded veteran of the Civil War from 1910-1921. It is the last homestead on the Cades Cove Loop.
Stop 18 – Sparks Lane
Another exit point (also Stop 2) almost to the end of the Loop, but if you want to repeat most of the Loop from this point, turn left. There is no marker here, but you’ll see the two-way road. This road had some of the prettiest views of the multi-colored mountains in the Fall I’d ever seen.
I returned to Cades Cove and did this Loop drive dozens of times during the time I spent in the Great Smoky Mountains – I just could not get enough!