National Park Sets Visitation Record of 12.5 Million!

 New Visitation Record in GSMNP

Great Smoky Mountains National Park welcomed a record 12,547,743 visitors in 2019, which is 1,126,540 more visitors than in 2018. The park’s three primary entrances near Gatlinburg, Townsend, and Cherokee all had increased use, accounting for about two-thirds of the total park visitation. Secondary park entrances experienced tremendous growth, due primarily to the new section of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley. Over one million visitors enjoyed this new scenic driving experience.

 

What Are the Busiest Months in The Park?

Monthly visitation records were set during January, March, April, May, June, and December. In both April and May, approximately one million people visited. Before 2015, park visitation had not exceeded one million visitors per month until the summer and fall months. Another traditional shoulder season month, September, has now exceeded one million visitors since 2015. Visitors are more consistently reporting traffic congestion, busy restrooms, and over-full parking areas throughout the year. These are some of the issues the park will be exploring over the next year in an effort to provide better access, experiences, and stewardship of the park.
 

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