Visitors planning a trip to Cades Cove on Sunday should be aware that access to the loop road will be delayed until 11 a.m. on Nov. 3 for the annual Cades Cove Loop Lope.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials said Thursday the park grants approval for its philanthropic partner, Friends of the Smokies, to host this running event to support the park under a special park use permit.

Registration is closed and participation full for the 10-mile Lope and the 5K Lope. New for this year, a virtual race can be run (or walked) anytime, anywhere, even indoors on a treadmill. Registration cost is $60. Registration for the virtual event ends today, Nov. 1, at 11:59 p.m.

Virtual runners will receive a race T-shirt and undated finisher’s medallion via mail. To register, visit

To accommodate parking for the event, access to the Cades Cove area is restricted at the Townsend “Y” until 11 a.m. Sunday, which is traditionally a period of lower visitation to the area. Registered Cades Cove campers, Tremont program participants and event participants with a parking pass must show registration documents for access beyond this point.

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