Bote Mountain Trail


bote mountain trailBote Mountain Trail is one of the most beautiful meadows in the Smoky Mountains.


During the 1800’s, James Spence tended the Cades Cove farmer’s cattle in an awe-inspiring mountain meadow. Eventually the meadow became known as Spence Field. Hikers who take the Bote Mountain trail and hike all the way to the Spence Field will do so through intermittently rocky terrain and rhododendron covered footpaths.  

On the climb up the trail, Smokies hikers can envision James Spence and the Cades Cove farmer’s cattle he tended climbing the slopes in yesteryear. Driving the cattle on such a climb must have been difficult, but the grass at the higher elevations made the effort worthwhile.


James Spence was a lucky man

Nutritionally, the high mountain grass was better for the cattle than that found on the Cades Cove valley floor. In addition, the cattle faired better at the higher location due to a considerable reduction in heat and flies.  Many a Smokies hiker who hiked up the trail has come to look upon James Spence as a lucky man. He spent so much of his life overlooking Cades Cove from his mountain paradise.

bote mountain trail


If you continue walking along Bote Mountain Trail, you will eventually arrive at Spence Field.  This is one of the most popular areas in the Smokies and features awesome mountain views.  From Spence Field today, trees are cleared so those Smokies hikers see Cades Cove, Lake Fontana, Rocky Top and other notable landmarks of the National Park. By reason of its view alone, Bote Mountain trail is one of the most rewarding to originate in Cades Cove. At the peak of Bote Mountain you will have views of Thunderhead and Defeat ridge, some of the best vistas in the Smokies.  From that point to the junction with Lead Cove Trail, the views will be breathtaking.  Also, after hiking to Spence Field, you will arrive at the junction with the Appalachian Trail.

 

More information on Wikipedia.

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