Sunday, February 16, 2014

Cooper Road Trail on the Cades Cove Loop Road

The Cooper Road trail is just past the Missionary Baptist Church on the right. Cooper Road Trail  follows a path that was used by Native Americans. Later on, it was upgraded to a wagon road by John Cooper. The trail head is four miles from the Cades Cove Loop Road entrance. Parking is available.

For years, the trail was the best route for pioneers who needed to cross the mountains to pick up supplies. When you hike the Old Cooper Road, you are literally walking into history. Wagon ruts, now worn from time, can still be seen on the trail.

From the trailhead in Cades Cove to the park boundary is almost 11 miles. Hiking the full length of the trail takes all day but some people choose to hike only a portion. Old Cooper Road is relatively flat and only has a small elevation gain but there are creek crossings. The trail is considered to be strenuous.

Hikers should always follow these hiking instructions from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. http://1.usa.gov/1dXM6lC

Click here for a map of the Cades Cove Loop Road. http://bit.ly/17VAgdg

As we continue our tour, the next stop on our journey is the Elijah Oliver Place.