Wildlife Tips

  • The best times to view wildlife are just after sunrise and just before sunset.

  • Bring a pair of binoculars, spotting scopes, and cameras with telephoto lenses to enjoy wildlife from a distance.

  • If wildlife is retreating, please do not follow them off of trails or onto the river banks.

  • Never approach or feed any animal; this is for your safety and the wellbeing of the animal.

  • Remember, if you approach an animal so closely that it changes its behavior, you have approached too closely.

  • Wild Turkeys: Breeding season is in the spring and is a great time to see the males strutting in the fields.

  • Pileated Woodpeckers: Woodpeckers can be viewed all year long in Cades Cove.

  • River Otters: Otters are best viewed along the trail to Abrams Falls.

  • Black Bears: The best time to see black bears are from late spring through early fall. The cubs are born during the winter in the mother's den.

    Mothers will start bringing their cubs out in May and June.

  • Raccoons: Raccoons can be viewed throughout the year at Cades Cove, mostly at night.

  • Coyotes: Coyotes can be seen all over Cades Cove at any time of year.

  • Whitetail Deer: Deer can be seen throughout the year in Cades Cove. Fall is the breeding season and the best time to see them in the fields at Cades Cove.