Visitation to Great Smoky Mountains National Park during the summer of 2015, nearly matched the record pace of last year. A total of 3,958,131 visitors came to the park during June, July, and August. Last year 3,963,131 visitors came to the park during the same time period, numbers that pushed the park to its highest visitation since 2000.
Visitation continues to be driven by the park’s main entrances at Gatlinburg, Tenn., Cherokee, N.C., and Townsend, Tenn. Visitation over the summer increased at all sites compared to last year, but the Cherokee entrance continues to lead the increases. In 2014, 749,131 visitors entered the park from Cherokee between June and August. In 2015, visitation through Cherokee increased 7.4% to 804,611.
After a record year in the outlying areas of the park, visitation has dropped off in those areas during 2015. This reduced visitation caused overall summer visitation to remain level compared to 2014. However, park visitation for the year is up nearly five percent.
“I am happy to see people continuing to find their park at Great Smoky Mountains National Park,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “The park’s staff works hard to ensure visitors have a quality experience through our education programs and miles of maintained roads and trail that lead people into the Smokies.”
For more information about visitation, please go to the National Park Service Visitor Use Statistics web page at https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/