There’s so many reasons for visitors to take a vacation getaway to the Great Smoky Mountains, but the national park is definitely one of the main reasons! As well as relaxing and getting away from home for a few days, the national park provides a natural beauty with lots of things to do. It’s really not a surprise that people are making the area their year-round vacation destination!
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Record Breaking Month
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so designated in 1934, has been welcoming more and more visitors each season. In fact, the park saw numbers topping one million people this past October. These numbers have not been seen in the park during the month of October since 1999. This, in spite of the fact, that there were flooding rains and a 15-inch snowfall during the month is an unbelievable record!
According to the National Park Service, the number of Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s visitors tops nine million annually, making it the most popular national park in the entire country. The park welcomes guests 24 hours a day, every day of the year at absolutely no cost at all. The moderate climate throughout most of the year provides full time access to all that is on display and explains the steady increase in the number of guests exploring the park. Yet, even park personnel were caught by surprise at the surge of numbers this past October.
In 2013, those who planned to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at the peak of the fall foliage season were very disappointed when the government shutdown caused the closure of the park. Rangers speculate that those visitors made the trip this year instead, spiking the October 2014 numbers.
October 2014 Attendance Statistics
Attendance in October was particularly high at some of the more remote entrances to the park. The number of visitors entering the park from points such as the Foothills Parkway, Greenbrier or Big Creek picnic areas was up a whopping 73% over the most recent 20-year average. The picturesque overlooks, waterfalls and creeks in these areas are becoming increasingly more popular with park guests as more and more families are drawn to the Smoky Mountain region and all it has to offer.
Cities such as Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge also benefit from all the increased traffic through the park. Likewise, the number of park visitors is enhanced by the greater numbers of tourists visiting these cities.
It is no surprise that park attendance has been steadily increasing. Great Smoky Mountains National Park visitors are surrounded by over 500,000 acres of stunning beauty. Here are a few reasons to visit this national treasure:
- Hiking trails-over 800 magnificent miles, most with year round access
- Plant life-breathtakingly beautiful wildflowers and vegetation
- Wildlife-home to over 200 species of birds, 30 different types of salamanders and 65 varieties of fish
- History-abandoned buildings representative of past farming communities and logging industry
- Ranger led tours-information from the park’s experts
- Tranquility-quiet, peaceful and spectacular landscape
A vacation full of incredible memories awaits you here in the Smoky Mountains, and Stony Brook Cabins has the right accommodations to make your visit perfect. Our two bedroom cabins in Gatlinburg are perfect for any family vacation, or take a look at our group cabin rentals for a bigger vacation–all only minutes from the national park! Take a look and then give us a call to start planning your vacation!