When traveling through the famed Cades Cove in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, you can be assured of wildlife encounters of one kind or another. Deer, bear, raccoons, foxes, and wild turkeys are abundant. But as you round a bend in the road, you may be surprised to come across a large gathering of peacefully grazing horses! Once you have had a moment to take in this unexpected spectacle, you may wonder at first, are they wild? While they look perfectly suited to this resplendent environment, these horses belong to the only National Park authorized riding stables within the Cove. Perhaps you'll book a ride with your family? Or maybe you'll savor the moment for a few happy minutes, soaking in as much as you can.