01 Oct Riding a bike in Cades Cove (Bear Heaven)
Imagine going through this valley on your bicycle, talk about exercising with a view
This was a miraculous day, I had just arrived the day before from Orlando after spending three days with my girlfriend. I had spoken with Michaela Arndt, a park ranger from the GSMNP to carpool with me so I could ride a bicycle through Cades Cove. It was a June 29th, a Wednesday, and Wednesdays are vehicle free days in Cades Cove, only pedestrians and bikers are allowed. I began my bike ride, enjoying the warm, morning sun with a cool breeze on my face. It didn’t take long until I passed the Cades Cove Methodist Church and saw a White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) grazing. I went close enough to take some good pictures.
After my deer encounter, I kept on cycling. Cades Cove offers some beautiful views of the valley. Summer is a great time to go, since all the wildflowers are blooming.
Not only wildflowers, but wild berries are blooming as well. Thats why it can be common to see a bear munching on them during the day.
I took a small detour up a trail to spot some salamanders or a bear. Cades Cove is full of wildlife to see, here are some other cool animals I found while on my bike ride.
White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were very active this morning. I was able to see around 5-8 deers roaming around.
Two loops had been done and my body was tired. I wanted to see a couple of bears but only got one sighting. It was already 4 pm and was time for us to head back. I gave back my bicycle and we began driving towards housing. Around 40 minutes into it, we got a little surprise near the Metcalf Bottoms entrance to the park. It seems that my bear sighting were not done just yet. Behold the most black bears I’d seen in under a mile. We were surprised by the appearance of a mama bear and her two cubs near the side of the road. Since we were driving fast,I noticed them, and told Michaela to turn around, as she is looking where to turn, I notice a larger male Black Bear about 100 feet from the family. I just couldn’t believe it, we went near the family and they delivered us quite a show.
My expectations have been blown away by the time I got to housing. What a day, 22 miles of bicycle riding, salamanders, fungi, crayfish, larvas, 5-8 wild deers, and 5 black bears. The highlight was seeing the two cubs go up the tree, they’ve been nicely trained. I hope this blog serves its purpose of showing the amazing wildlife in Cades Cove and what is yet to see like its birds and historic structures. It is a magical loop where you can immerse in nature and see black bears from you car, perfect for the kids and elderly.
Cades Cove is my favorite place to see wildlife, whether it be birds or bears, it never fails to blow away my expectations. I think my dream house would be a cabin here.