GSMNP officials announce vehicle-free Wednesdays in Cades Cove area this summer

Tennessee

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WJHL) – Vehicles will not have access to Cades Cove Loop Road on Wednesdays for the next few months, according to the officials from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

A release from GSMNP says the park will start enforcing vehicle-free access to the road on Wednesday from June 17 until September 30.

The restriction is part of a pilot study that hopes to improve visitors’ experiences at the park.

The study was proposed after congested parking areas and disrupted services were noticed during previous attempts to implement vehicle-free times in the summer months.

The release says feedback from more than 2,200 individuals from 37 states was used in making this decision after the park’s comment period in March.

More than 60% of comments were supportive of the trial change to vehicles in the area, and 20% were opposed.

Other feedback indicated that some visitors hoped the vehicle-free implementation would be in effect on Saturdays, but in general, the same feedback supported the Wednesday restrictions.

The release says due to the amount of attractions in close proximity to one another, Cades Cove is “often gridlocked by a line of motorists waiting for the Loop Road to open at 10:00 a.m.”

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