Guided Trail Rides

Our guided trail rides are a wonderful way to explore and enjoy a part of your national park. We like to keep our rides as small as possible with a limit of 9 riders per group so that riding with our guides is like riding with one of your friends.

Our trail rides are excellent for beginners and experienced riders alike. We have handpicked our horses for their calm temperament, athletic ability, and willingness to please. We match our horses with you and your family to suit your experience and skill level, and we provide an orientation so you feel comfortable with your horse before we leave.

Guided Horseback rides depart continually throughout the day and are approximately 1 hour in length. We suggest that all riders wear a safety helmet, which we provide free of charge for all riders.

All children under 16 are required to wear a safety helmet.

Reservations for guided trail rides will not be accepted. All rides are subject to weather and trail conditions.

Hours

March 4 - November 30:

9:00AM to 4:30PM

Rates

$30.00 per person


Guided Carriage Rides

Looking for an adventure for the entire family? Sit back and relax in your very own horse-drawn carriage as your guide leads you through the idyllic winding forest trails of Cades Cove. Our knowledgeable carriage drivers will entertain you with tales of the history of the area while pointing out the native plant and animal life.

Meet our beautiful carriage horses and learn how things were done in days gone by. It’s the best way to discover the old Cades Cove.

Carriage rides are 30 to 45 minutes in length. They depart throughout the day have no weight or age limit. However, we do limit the carriage to 6 passengers and that depends on the passenger's size.

Reservations for guided carriage rides will not be accepted. All rides are subject to weather and trail conditions.

Hours

March 4 - November 30:

9:00AM to 4:30PM

Rates

$12.00 per person

Guided Hayrides

Our comfortable, truck-pulled, hay-filled trailers carry you on a nostalgic ride through the picturesque Cades Cove Loop Road, surrounded by preserved 19th and early 20th century farming communities. Cool mountain breezes, towering forests, and birdsong tickle your senses as the miles of serene vistas in all directions take you back to another era. On your fully-narrated adventure, you may even catch a glimpse of the wildlife inhabiting Cades Cove, such as white-tailed deer, black bears, raccoons, turkeys, and woodchucks.

Our knowledgeable guides will entertain you with the tales of the early settlers and how they made a living from the land while creating a new community. Learn about farming, home life, religion, and recreation of our ancestors, as well as the challenges they face as they settled the area.

Hayride Schedule
March 4 through May 31 10:00AM, 12:00PM, and 3:00PM
June 1 through August 15 10:00AM, 12:00PM, 3:00PM, and 6:00PM
August 16 through season closing: 10:00AM, 12:00PM, and 3:00PM

Our hayrides are subject to a minimum of 2 riders per scheduled time and up to 65 riders. Hayrides last approximately 1 1/2 to 3 hours depending on the traffic around the loop road. During special occasions, we offer ranger-led hayrides as scheduled by the Park Service.

Due to the popularity of guided hayrides, we will accept reservations for groups of 15 riders or more with a signed tour contract and a 50% deposit. Reservations will not be accepted for groups without a 50% deposit or less than 15 riders. All rides are subject to weather and trail conditions.

Rates

$12 per person

Ranger-Led Hayrides

Schedule will be posted as soon as the Park Service makes it available or contact the Cades Cove Riding Stables at 865-448-9009. Prices are $14 per person.

Policies

Restrictions for Guided Horseback Rides

For safety reasons, we do have some rules and restrictions for the guided horseback rides. These restrictions do not apply to the carriage or hayrides.

  • Minimum age - 6 years

  • Minimum height - 4 feet

  • Maximum weight - 250 pounds

  • All riders 16 years of age and younger must wear a helmet

  • No cameras or phones allowed on horseback rides

Hayride Reservations

(Reservations are NOT accepted for the guided horseback or carriage rides.)

  • Reservations are accepted only for groups of 15 riders or more with a signed tour contract and a 50% deposit. Reservations will not be accepted for groups without a 50% deposit or less than 15 riders.

  • The price at the time that you make your reservation will be the fee that you are charged. Final payment is due upon arrival.

  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled ride time to complete paper work. If you do not arrive on time, you may miss your scheduled departure.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation charges are based upon the number of people in your party and the number of hours from check-in when the trip is canceled. Cancellations must be made by closing time in order to make cut-off dates.

  • 15 days’ or more notice: full refund

  • 8-14 days' notice: 50% of applicable charges

  • 7 days’ or less notice: no refund

If you have any questions concerning this policy, please inquire at the time you make your reservation.

Rescheduling Policy

We will allow for a one time, no charge cancellation to reschedule a hayride tour within 1 year during operational dates. Cancellation must be received within 24 hours for rescheduling offer to apply.

Wildlife Viewing

Cades Cove is located in a forested mountain region in western Tennessee, and features meandering mountain streams, towering trees, and majestic peaks. These areas provide shelter to a variety of wild animals, including deer, bears, and wild turkeys.

For more information, see our Wildlife Tips page.

Accessibility

Our goal is for everyone to have a good time at Cades Cove. NSPC has never turned away a visitor wishing to participate in one of our equine activities. However, it is also our priority to ensure that all our guests can safely enjoy our activities. In cases where an individual is unable to safely enjoy one of our activities, such as the trail rides, they are encouraged to participate in a similar activity, like a carriage or hay ride. Our hay wagons and carriage are modified to allow for wheelchair access. Please visit our Contact Us page to make specific inquiries regarding accessibility.

For information on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park accessibility amenities, please visit their amenities page.