The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Breaks a Record Number of Visitors
There’s so many reasons for visitors to take a trip to the Smokies, but the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is definitely one of the main reasons! In addition to 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! Learn more about how the Great Smoky Mountains National Park broke a record number of visitors:
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Record Breaking Month
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been welcoming more and more visitors each season since its opening in 1934. In fact, the park saw numbers topping one million people in October 2014. Those kinds of numbers have not been seen in the park during the month of October since 1999.
According to the National Park Service, the number of Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s visitors reaches around 9 million annually, making it the most popular national park in the entire country. The park welcomes guests from all over the world. A major reason why it is so popular is because there’s no entrance fee, unlike many other national parks in the country. Another reason why people love coming to the Smokies is because it’s within a day’s drive of more than two thirds of the United States.
What Caused the Increase of Visitors for October 2014?
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 percent 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.
Why Visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park?
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!