Park Celebrates Completion of New Accessible Trail in Cades Cove

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials and partners celebrated the completion of a trail accessibility project in Cades Cove at the John Oliver Cabin. The newly created trail meets standards of the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) and provides access for visitors of all ability levels to one of Cades Cove’s most popular historic homesites.  

“The work of making our parks more accessible for all is so important,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “Now all visitors have the opportunity to leave the roadway and be more fully immersed in the Cades Cove story through a trail experience within the historic landscape.”  

The trail provides a unique view across the pastoral fields associated with the home of Cades Cove’s first European settlers, John and Lucretia Oliver, who settled there in 1818. The fields provide outstanding wildlife viewing opportunities for deer, turkey, bears, and grassland birds. The half-mile, paved trail is approximately eight feet wide to provide adequate space for wheelchairs or other mobility devices to pass one another. Funding for the project was made possible through a $150,000 donation provided by the National Park Foundation and a $57,000 donation provided by the Friends of the Smokies.  

“It is such an honor to partner with Superintendent Cash and his staff in helping fulfill this vision of making park experiences more accessible,” said Sharon Pryse, Board of Directors Chair for Friends of the Smokies. “We’re grateful for the donations of all our ‘Friends’ who make it possible for us to support special park projects.”  

“The new trail provides a pathway for all to experience the natural wonder and history of Cades Cove,” said Will Shafroth, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “Thanks to the initiative of Friends of the Smokies and support from NPF and our donors, more people will be able to access and to share the beauty of this place.” 

The Cades Cove Loop Road and the John Oliver Cabin are open daily from sunrise until sunset. For more information about the history of Cades Cove, please visit the park website at www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/historyculture/cades-cove-history.htm.  

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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