Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Tansi Smoke Signals

May 30, 2013

Cades Cove – immense beauty, just a short drive away

CROSSVILLE — A little over 100 miles from Lake Tansi Village is another beautiful area, and well worth the drive. It is Cades Cove, an isolated valley located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Once home to numerous settlers before being incorporated into the park, it is the single most popular destination of park visitors. The Cades Cove Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its well-preserved homesteads, scenic mountain views and abundant display of wildlife attract thousands of visitors a year.

Before leaving home, take a few minutes to sit down and plan your trip. There are two important items to be considered. First, the park is in the Eastern Time Zone, so you lose an hour before you leave home. Secondly, there is no restaurant in Cades Cove, so pack a lunch. To fully enjoy the beauty of the Cove you need to drive the 11-mile loop. Depending on when you arrive, you can begin your drive around the loop or eat lunch. Regardless of which you decide to do first, pay close attention to the three-way intersection upon reaching the top. Note that the picnic area is on the left as you approach the intersection and is accessed by turning to the left on the paved two-way road. It has lots of tall shade trees, plenty of picnic tables and nice rest rooms, all beside a beautiful stream. It will bring peace and quiet back into your lives again, if only for a short while.

If you want to drive around the 11-mile loop before eating lunch, continue driving straight ahead. Be prepared for that, also. People drive slowly and if lots of wildlife are foraging, it is even slower. But what the heck! Slow your life down and enjoy the absolutely gorgeous scenery and, hopefully, some whitetail deer, black bears, wild turkeys (not the human kind) and perhaps a coyote. On the loop you will find a number of older but well-maintained houses with barns and other out buildings and several churches, all of which are open to tour. The road is one lane and well maintained, with very few places to pass but with numerous places to pull off. Feel free to stop momentarily to shoot pictures. In some instances you can pull off, walk to shoot a picture and then get back in the line of traffic. Other drivers are very tolerant since everyone is there for the same reasons and subject to the same conditions.

Half-way around the loop is the Cades Cove Visitor Center that has a large parking area and includes nice rest rooms, a gift shop and a grist mill. The 11-mile, one-lane road ends at the two-lane road you passed when you reached the top. To reach the picnic grounds turn left from the loop road and then just a short distance turn to the right. To get on the road back down to the park visitor center, exit to the right from the picnic area and turn right onto the main road.

In recent years we have driven to the park fairly early in the morning, taken the 11-mile Cades Cove loop and eaten lunch in the picnic area. Following lunch, we drove down to US 441 and then into Gatlinburg. We have a favorite place to visit called The Village, a collection of 27 unique boutiques, clothiers, eateries and galleries in a quaint Old World setting. Ask for directions and a brochure at the Sugarland Visitors Center. We spend the night in Pigeon Forge, shop, have lunch and then drive home.

There are two routes available from Crossville to the park. One is I-40 through Knoxville to the US 441 / Sevierville exit. Continue on US 441 through Sevierville to Pigeon Forge and then to Gatlinburg. You can save time by taking the Gatlinburg bypass and going into the city after visiting the park. Watch for signs and exit onto the bypass on the right side. It is a scenic drive above the city and exits back onto US 441 near the Great Smoky Mountain Sugarland Visitors Center. There you will find lots of information on Cades Cove and other places of interest in the park. The road up to Cades Cove is right next to the visitor center.

A second route also begins on I-40. Approximately 12 miles past Kingston (where you cross the Tennessee River and pass the TVA power plant with the 1,000-foot chimneys) look for the US 321 / Lenoir City exit. Stay on US 321 through Lenoir City, across Tellico Dam and through Maryville. Continue on US 321 to Townsend (more of a community rather than a town) until you come to the three-way intersection with a traffic signal. A sign will show Pigeon Forge to the left on US 321 and Cades Cove straight ahead on Tennessee State Route 73. Go straight! It is only about three miles to another three-way intersection that is inside the park. Turn to the right and proceed up to the Cove.

Give me a call if you have questions. We have visited the park most every year since retiring in Tansi a number of years ago.

Enjoy your drive to the park, the drive around Cades Cove and your stay in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

1
Text Only
Tansi Smoke Signals
  • Welcome 1.jpg Lake Tansi welcomes new recreation director

    A lot of people have visited Cumberland County, liked what they saw and eventually bought a house. Can Betty Gates be included in that group? Well, yes and no.  She came to Cumberland County to visit her brother who had retired from the United States Air Force. He took her on a tour of the area, including a drive through Tansi on Dunbar Rd. One of his neighbors, a real estate agent, also took her on a tour where he showed her a number of houses, one of which she bought. It was just two days after she arrived at her brother’s house. Here’s how she described the moment: “I have landed on my mountain.”  That was near the end of 2008.

    March 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gratitude 1.jpg A letter of gratitude for Ken Soncrant

    Lake Tansi members were flabbergasted by the recent resignation of Recreation Department Director Ken Soncrant after 10 years of service and dedication to the community. After his resignation was accepted by the Tansi POA board, he was recognized for his commitment to Lake Tansi.

    March 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Membership shows support for amenity improvements

    After the failed request in 2013 for approval of a one-time $100 assessment, some Lake Tansi members are showing their resilience and determination.

    March 26, 2014

  • Get ready for a season of fun!

    I am so happy to be your new Recreation Director and what a perfect time to spring into action for a fresh new season of fun, activities and events. Watch for all our new events in the Smoke 
Signals and pick up our calendar and bulletin so you can spring into action with us.

    March 26, 2014

  • Lake Tansi members give of time, talents and dollars for community

    Many Lake Tansi Village members continue to volunteer their time, effort, and dollars to help our community retain the image it has achieved through the years.

    March 26, 2014

  • navy nurse 4.jpg Duty Station: The heart of a Navy nurse

    Joann Kelso’s nursing career began when she went to nursing school on a grant in Cleveland, Ohio. The grant allowed her to acquire her degree but, in return, she was obligated to work in Cleveland for two years. By this time her friends were settling down, getting married, and having babies. Kelso decided that wasn’t what she wanted at that time and enlisted in the Navy.

    March 26, 2014 3 Photos

  • Quack Shack preparing for second summer

    The Quack Shack is looking forward to the second summer at the Lake Tansi Beach, keeping the same great menu, and continuing the Thursday night Dinner on the Deck with live music and great new foods. This summer, the Quack Shack will still offer our stress free party packages. The beach activities have been expanded with more bonfires and movies nights. Please come out and enjoy all the actives planned for this summer.

    March 26, 2014

  • Lake Tansi getting ready for spring activities

    Spring is here. It is time to start looking forward to a new and exciting year here at Lake Tansi. As you are aware, we have a new Recreation Director, Betty Gates. Betty has some outstanding new ideas and programs she is going to introduce that are going to be a great asset to our community and our guests who visit this year. Be watching the Smoke Signals and email blasts for new upcoming events.

    March 26, 2014

  • Community Association to meet April 15

    The Lake Tansi Community Association is pleased to present the Plateau Old-time German band for your entertainment on April 15. This local German oompah band is made up of members of the Cumberland County Community Band.

    March 26, 2014

  • Ladies Golf kicks off season with luncheon

    The Lake Tansi Ladies Golf Association will be holding their spring luncheon at Killeen's on the Green on Thursday, April 3. Registration begins at 11 a.m. and lunch will be served at noon. Killeen's needs a head count, so please sign up in the ladies locker room at the Pro Shop before March 26.

    March 26, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice