There has been significant progress on the re-paving of Cades Cove Loop, so much that park officials plan to open the loop almost a month early! Cades Cove Loop is expected to open on April 24 and to recognize the completion of this long-overdue project and National Park Week, the Park is planning two celebratory events. A Field Day has been set for Saturday, April 24, when only bicycles and pedestrians will be permitted on the road until noon. On Sunday morning, April 25, the Park and the Friends of the Smokies are planning a one-time-only “Cades Cove Loop Lope,” which will offer pre-registeredrunners a choice of the full 11 mile loop or a 3.5 mile loop course. Both events are being planned to minimize visitor inconvenience.
As with all funds raised by the Friends on behalf of the park, the event fee will go to support a wide range of park programs. The run will step off at 8:00 a.m. so that the road can be re-opened to vehicles by 12 noon. Due to very limited parking at the beginning of the Loop Road, vehicle access past the Townsend “Wye” will be restricted to registered runners and campers until the race is over.
In addition to the road improvements, visitors to the Cove will also be able to view improvements to the Cades Cove Store and bicycle rental facilities.