Cooper Road Trail

Cooper Road Trail offers the Smoky Mountain hiker and horseback rider solitude and an easy path

You will find the the Cooper Road Trail goes to the park boundary about 10.7 away from the trailhead.  Elevation gain is 1,100 feet.  Be sure to take plenty of water and a reenergizing snack.  Also, wear comfortable shoes.

There’s History on the Trail

cooper road trailIf you hike or ride the Cooper Road trail in Cades Cove, you will follow in the footsteps of European descent pioneers and Native Americans alike. This is because the Cooper Road trail follows a Smoky Mountain Indian trail that was later improved into a road in the 1830’s. Daniel Foute, a white man who obtained great sections in Cades Cove, later sold it to the settlers. In the 1840’s, the road was renamed for Joe Cooper who made improvements on the road for wagon travel in the cove.


Cooper Road was  the best way for pioneers who lived in the west part of the cove to get through the Smokies into nearby Maryville. Early Smokies pioneers in Cades Cove could grow, make, or hunt just about anything they might want or need. Because of this, a trip to Maryville, TN did not need to be made too often. The cove residents went to town for reasons such as, to go to Crawford and Caldwell hardware store. Also, they might go to a doctor or to visit a family member. Some others collected chestnuts in one of the many chestnut groves that were prevalent in Cades Cove in those days. After bushels of chestnuts were gathered, a trip from the cove to Maryville would insure a good market for the chestnut crop.

The Cooper Road Trail begins at the upper end of Abrams Creek Campground.

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