Great Smoky Mountains Considers Cades Cove Car Ban Changes

Cades Cove car ban allows you to take a break without all the noise and traffic.

Cades Cove car ban allows you to take a break without all the noise and traffic.

Great Smoky Mountains Considers Cades Cove Car Ban Changes. The scenic valley of Cades Cove is traditionally closed to motor vehicles until 10 a.m. on Wednesday and Saturday, May thru September. Park officials are inviting public comment on changing this process to a pilot study for 2020 to close vehicle access all day each Wednesday, May thru September.

Officials are inviting public comment through Friday, March 27, 2020. This is your chance to publicly ponder for posterity and give them your two cents.

The park began collecting data on visitor use during vehicle-free time periods in 1995. For over 25 years, use has continued to increase with up to 1,100 people per day enjoying the roadway during the 3-hour closure time period. This increase in use presents many challenges including congestion, lack of parking, and disruption in campground and picnic area operations. Currently morning closures hinder access to the campground, picnic area, horse concession operation, campground store, and hiking/equestrian trails. Traffic leading to the Cades Cove area is often gridlocked by a line of motorists waiting for the Loop Road to open at 10:00 a.m.

For the 2020 season, the park is considering implementing a full day closure of the Loop Road to motor vehicles on Wednesdays to improve safety and provide better access to the area for multiple user groups. By closing the roadway for the entire day, bicyclists and pedestrians would have over 12 hours of daylight to use the Loop Road without vehicles. The idea is that by having the closure for a full day parking should be more available with less impact to campground, picnic area, and concession operations. It is believed eliminating the Saturday morning closures, more motorists would have better access to the Cades Cove area. Saturday is traditionally the busiest day of the week for travel in the area. In addition, park staff and volunteers would be able to better support visitor operations on Saturdays instead of devoting all personnel to traffic management and parking. This pilot project is a temporary change. The park will assess the effectiveness of the change at the end of the 2020 season.

The park welcomes the public to comment on the proposed change using the National Park Service’s Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website, https://parkplanning.nps.gov/grsm,  or by US Mail to Superintendent, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 107 Park Headquarters Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738. If approved by the National Park Service, implementation will begin in May 2020 and the results of the closure change will be evaluated by park management to inform future planning.

Source information – GSMNP

More Hey Smokies Features:

All You Need to Know About Snakes in the Smoky Mountains
All You Need to Know About Snakes in the Smoky Mountains...
Yes, there are 23 species of snakes found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but only 2 of them are poisonous; so don't let that keep y[Read More >>]
Giant Hogweed Invades Smoky Mountain Region
Giant Hogweed Invades Smoky Mountain Region...
Giant Hogweed Invades Smoky Mountain Region. Giant Hogweed looms large on it's march toward the Smokies. Giant Hogweed can reach up to 20-f[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Southern Fried Green Tomato Recipe
Smoky Mountain Southern Fried Green Tomato Recipe...
Smoky Mountain Southern Fried Green Tomato Recipe is the perfect solution to all the extra tomatoes from your garden. The HeySmokies.com culinar[Read More >>]
The Big Creek Experience in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Big Creek Experience in Great Smoky Mountains National Park...
Big Creek ranger district is found on the eastern edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park with a small campground for 12 sites for tents onl[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Parsons Branch Road Opens
Smoky Mountain Parsons Branch Road Opens...
Smoky Mountain Parsons Branch Road Opens after a six year closure. GSMNP officials celebrated the reopening of Parson Branch Road with a ri[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains  Seeks Help Identifying Historic Homesites
Great Smoky Mountains Seeks Help Identifying Historic Homesites...
Dan Lawson place is one of the many historic homesites preserved in the Smoky Mountains. Great Smoky Mountains Seeks Help Identifying Histor[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Volunteers Needed
Smoky Mountain Volunteers Needed...
Ramsey Cascades in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the tallest waterfalls accessible by trail in the park! Smoky Mountain Volu[Read More >>]
Big Creek Trail Closure
Big Creek Trail Closure...
Big Creek, Great Smoky Mountains National Park Big Creek trail closure. A temporary, weekday closure of Big Creek Trail to repair the popula[Read More >>]
Cades Cove Car Ban
Cades Cove Car Ban...
Cades Cove car ban is under way. Cades Cove Car Ban begins May 4, 2022 through September 28, 2022.  Cove visitors are encouraged t[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Tamale Recipe
Smoky Mountain Tamale Recipe...
Smoky Mountain Tamale recipe. Homemade tamales are always a Smoky Mountain special event! Did you know that the Smoky Mountains are on the [Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Dates Announced
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Dates Announced...
Smoky Mountain synchronous firefly dates announced. Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Dates Announced. Great Smoky Mountains National Park [Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Trail Volunteers Needed
Smoky Mountain Trail Volunteers Needed...
Smoky Mountain Trail Volunteers Needed. GSMNP is recruiting volunteers to adopt a trail along the 848 miles of maintained trails across the[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Smoky Mountain Parking Fee Proposed...
Smoky Mountain Parking Fee Proposed. GSMNP officials are seeking public input on proposed fee program changes for 2023, including a new pa[Read More >>]
Clingmans Dome Opens To Public
Clingmans Dome Opens To Public...
Clingmans Dome road opens to public! Clingmans Dome Opens To Public April 14, 2022. Clingmans Dome road normally opens April 1st. The delay [Read More >>]
Pigeon Forge Spring Rod Run
Pigeon Forge Spring Rod Run...
Pigeon Forge rod run will get your motor running! Pigeon Forge Spring Rod Run will get your motor running! The area's largest automotive eve[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Cades Cove Buffalo Herd Stampede...
Cades Cove Buffalo Herd Stampedes through the valley. Millions of visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park were treated to a ver[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Southern Mac And Cheese Recipe
Smoky Mountain Southern Mac And Cheese Recipe...
Smoky Mountain Southern Mac And Cheese Recipe is the perfect side dish for any meal and sometimes it is a great meal all by itself. All you ne[Read More >>]
The Cades Cove Experience in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Cades Cove Experience in Great Smoky Mountains National Park...
The 6,800-acre valley comprising Cades Cove, one of the most visited areas of the park, provides a glimpse of a bygone mountain lifestyle. Trave[Read More >>]
Bears in Great Smoky Mountains | What You Need to Know
Bears in Great Smoky Mountains | What You Need to Know...
With the tourist season in full swing and a record number of visitors to the Smoky Mountains last year, the opportunities for an encounter with [Read More >>]
Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway...
Did you know that the Blue Ridge Parkway is connected to Great Smoky Mountains National Park? That's right; another National Park is a[Read More >>]