Park Announces Shuttle Opportunity for Cades Cove Vehicle-Free Wednesdays

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials are pleased to announce a shuttle opportunity for visitors to access Cades Cove on Vehicle-Free Wednesdays beginning July 7 through September 1. The shuttle service will be provided by Rocky Top Tours from Townsend, TN to Cades Cove between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. each Wednesday.  

“Vehicle-free Wednesdays in Cades Cove continues to extremely popular,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “Our staff has worked hard to manage safe parking access, including making improvements to a field traditionally used for parking that allowed us to add eighty-five more spots this year. But the demand still far exceeds the space and we’re hopeful the shuttle service will allow more people the opportunity to enjoy this unique experience.”  

Park staff and volunteers actively manage parking at Cades Cove on Wednesdays to improve visitor safety, prevent disruptions to campground operations, and to reduce damaging roadside parking along Laurel Creek Road. In the 2021 season, parking lots have typically filled by 8:00 a.m. and stayed full until 1:00 p.m., resulting in hundreds of cars being turned away during that time-period. Shuttle service will provide an opportunity for visitors to guarantee access during the morning hours. Advanced reservations are encouraged. 

Shuttle service may be booked online at www.rockytoptours.com. Tickets for the roundtrip shuttle service, including transport of personal bikes, is provided for a flat rate of $25 per person. Participants who choose not to ride the shuttle are encouraged to plan their visit to Cades Cove in the late afternoons and early evenings to spread use out throughout the day. Vehicle-free Wednesdays began on May 5 and will run through September 1.  

Cyclists are reminded to properly prepare for a safe experience. Serious cycling accidents have occurred along the Cades Cove Loop Road. The State of Tennessee requires that children age 16 and under wear a helmet. All riders are strongly encouraged to wear helmets and to ride properly fitted and well-maintained bicycles.  

More volunteers are needed to join the team who manage this opportunity every Wednesday. Volunteers help direct visitor flow, provide orientation and safety information, and monitor visitor use. Training and a uniform will be provided to all selected volunteers. If interested, please sign up at https://tinyurl.com/GRSMCCVFD for more information. To be considered for this opportunity, volunteers must be available each Wednesday through September 1.  

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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