“Access to one of the most popular cabins in the park: the John Oliver Cabin.”
— David Hitchcock
Closed when the Laurel Creek Road is closed from the Townsend Y to Cades Cove or when the Cades Cove Loop has been closed. For park road conditions, information can be found at twitter.com/smokiesroadsnps or by calling (865) 436-1200 and dialing extension 2, 2.
The Cades Cove Loop Road is also closed on Wednesday and Saturday mornings until 10:00 am to allow pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy the loop road without traffic. However, you can walk or cycle to the trailhead if you want.
Features: Views — Wildlife
Family Friendly: Provides easy access to the John Oliver Cabin, a great place for the kids to explore. Deer and turkeys are routinely seen in the field in front of the cabin as well.
Dogs: No Dogs
The trailhead is located on the Cades Cove Loop Road, roughly 1 mile from the Cades Cove entrance. There is a small parking lot on the right after you pass the entrance Sparks Lane. If that lot is full, there is another parking area just ahead on the right. There is another trail that leads to the cabin that is the result of people cutting through the field.
The trail starts at the Cades Cove Loop Road and concludes at the John Oliver Cabin. John Oliver and his wife Lucretia were the first permanent settlers in Cades Cove, arriving in 1818. The cabin was built between 1822-1823, and remained in the family until the establishment of the national park. The cabin that sits before you is a replica, but provides insight into what living conditions were like for early settlers.
The trail is an easy 10 minute stroll through the woods by the field. It's a well worn path, as are 2 similar paths that cut through the fields. Take time to explore the cabin. Deer, turkeys, and bears have been seen in the fields, especially in the mornings and evenings as they come out to feed. There are great views of the Smokies' crest when you turn around and look across the field from the cabin.
If you are looking for quiet and solitude, this is not the route for you. This cabin is a very popular destination in the park, and lots of people get out of their cars to stretch their legs and take in the views.
Flora & Fauna
Deer, turkeys, coyotes, and bear have been seen in the fields in front of the cabin.