The Great Smoky Mountains National Park sees visitors well into the millions every year. Just four times in the past 80 years they have broken the 10,000,000 mark including 2014 with a record breaking attendance of over 10,099,000 which was an incredible 8% growth from 2013! Already this year they have broken a record again with September’s park attendance being higher than it ever has before, with 1,081,773 squeezing down the parks narrow roads.
But what is causing this mass flow of visitors to come funneling into the windy backroads of Tennessee and North Carolina to see the GSMNP?
That’s a great question and we have the answers!
- Fall: With colors popping up from the highest elevations of over 6,500′ in mid to late September and well into early November at the lowest elevations plus the over 100 native tree species running up and down the peaks and valleys of the park, there is almost always colors to see during the autumn season.
- Bear: Black Bear are running all throughout the park and are one of the most sought after sights as people travel into the mountains. In the smokies alone there are approximately 2 black bear per square mile and over 520,000 acres that make up the park. You do the math! (Or we will…it’s about 1500)
- Location: Many national parks are quite secluded and far from many highly populated areas. This is not true for the Smokies! Situated between Tennessee and North Carolina along the east coast, there are plenty of cities within a days drive that can make the journey down to see the National Park in all it’s glory.
These are just a few of the great reasons to visit the Smokies. Want more? Check out this article to see just how much there is to do and see!