KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is launching vehicle-free days in Cades Cove starting Wednesday, May 3 and will be observed every Wednesday through Sept. 27. Park officials say the goal is to provide opportunities for pedestrians and cyclists to experience Cades Cove without motor vehicles.

Emily Davis with GSMNP visited WATE 6 On Your Side News at Midday to talk about the annual event, which has been observed for more than 40 years.

Below are several tips from GSMNP officials for how to get the most out of your vehicle-free Wednesday:

1. Wear a helmet when riding a bicycle: Children under 16 are required by law to wear a helmet, but park officials feel everyone on a bicycle should wear one.

2. Park only in designated parking spots: Roadside parking poses a safety risk when pedestrians and cyclists are sharing the road with vehicles while trying to get from their parking spots to the Loop Road. Park officials ask visitors to find a designated parking spot to leave your vehicle while you enjoy your time in Cades Cove.

3. You don’t have to come early in the morning: Park officials say there tends to be a rush for parking spaces first thing in the morning, adding that once parking spaces are full, vehicles will be turned away and asked to return later in the day.

4. Have what you need: Due to the terrain of the Cades Cove Loop Road, it often takes people longer than they expect to make it back to their vehicle. Make sure you have essentials (such as food, water, and a first aid kit) before you start.

Smoky Mountain Minute airs every Wednesday on WATE 6 On Your Side News at Midday.