Cades Cove is not on the most loved section of the Great Smoky Mountains national park, it is also the most congested and crowded especially on weekends and holidays and leaf season when there is peak visitation.
To help alleviate some of the traffic congestion as well as being able to offer a professional guided tour of Cades Coves history, natural resources and spin some yarns about some local stories Cades Cove Heritage Tours is now officially offering mini bus tours of the Cove.
The 19 passenger white Cades Cove Heritage Tours shuttle busses have already been touring Cades Cove but the official shuttle service stared today after a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The ticket prices for this 3 hour tour is $13 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 for kids from 6-17 and children under 6 are free. Members of the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center get reduced rates and you can get a combo ticket for both the entrance to the heritage center tour and the Cades Cove shuttle.
While some are touting the shuttle tour as an environmental friendly option which will reduce pollution, Cades Cove Heritage Tours which is a non profit organization should have made a far wiser choice in the purchase of their vehicles to reduce their carbon output and reduce engine noise.
While this is a small step that that could slightly help reduce traffic which exceeds 800,000 vehicles a year on the Cades Cove 11 mile loop it is a small half step.
It is a shame this opportunity to make a huge difference in the air pollution output created and the use of resources used by touring the Cove was not tackled in a modern and environmentally friendly manor.