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May 19, 2024

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Fee Free Day in GSMNP For Veteran’s Day

Anticipating the Veterans Day weekend at Great Smoky Mountains National Park
In honor of Veterans Day, visitors heading to Great Smoky Mountains National Park can enjoy the privilege of not having to purchase or display a parking tag on Saturday, November 11. This particular day marks the final fee-free day of the year not only for the Smokies but also for all National Park Service sites.

For those interested in obtaining a weekly or annual parking pass, these will still be available for purchase online, within the park, or at various locations within the park communities. Park rangers will maintain their vigilance with regards to parking enforcement even on fee-free days, including issuing warnings and citations for vehicles parked in designated no-parking zones. This year, the Smokies also participated in three other fee-free days, namely during National Park Week in April, the Great American Outdoors Act anniversary in August, and National Public Lands Day in September.

Furthermore, on Sunday, November 12, the Cades Cove Loop Road will open at 11 a.m. As part of the weekend’s events, Friends of the Smokies, the park’s philanthropic partner, is hosting the annual Cades Cove Loop Lope, a foot race that allows registered runners to tackle either a 3.1- or 10-mile loop course in Cades Cove. Event organizers intentionally schedule the race for early November to minimize its impact on park visitors, considering it as a once-a-year opportunity that also aids in raising support for the park. To accommodate the event’s parking requirements, access to the Cades Cove area will be restricted at the Townsend Wye until 10:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. The park has granted approval for Friends of the Smokies to host this event by issuing a Special Use Permit.

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