The Beard Cane trail is a 4.2 mile Smoky Mountain trail named after a type of cane variety that grows in Cades Cove. It’s also one of the few relatively flat trails in Cades Cove.
To get started, put those boots on and get yourself to the Cooper Road Trail – 4.9 miles northeast of the Abrams Creek Campground just off the Foothills Parkway.
It’s as easy a hike as there is in the Smoky Mountains and takes the hiker down a hollow between Beard Cane and Hatcher mountains for 3.5 miles in a fairly straight line.
Hikers will notice wildflowers and flowering shrubs such as polygala, trillium, rhododendron, and dog-hobble. Overhead trees such as oak, tulip, hemlock and maple trees canopy this Cades Cove hike.
You’ll reach campsite No. 11 at the 1 mile mark. This is a site that is rarely used and is pretty quiet most of the time. You’ll cross Beard Cane Creek a dozen times while you’re on the trail as it grows into a full blown creek. Cross on the rocks if you wish, just be wary if it’s rained alot.
Campsite No. 3 at Hesse Creek appears at mile 3.6. It’s located in a cool, shady area and is larger than Campsite No. 11. It rarely sees any use as well.
The junction with Ace Gap Trail at Blair Gap comes along at the 4.2 mile mark which signals the end of the Beard Cane Trail.