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The Great Smoky Mountains National Park saw a record number of visitors this June! While visitor numbers may be down overall this year due to the park’s temporary closure, things are looking up for the Smokies. We love hearing that so many people are getting to enjoy the beauty of the Smoky Mountains! We’ve got all the info on the park breaking visitation records in June below:
Record Number of Visitors in June
June was a great month for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! The park broke an all-time record for the most visitors ever recorded in June. Park officials said there was an increase of nearly 7% in recreational visitation in June 2020 compared to June 2019. Not to mention, camping was up 21% with about 14,000 backcountry stays! As far as park entrances go, the Townsend entrance saw an increase of 21.25% compared to last year. Smaller park entrances saw an increase in visitation as well — visitors to Big Creek increased 52%, and visitors to Greenbrier increased 33% compared to last year.
Although visitation numbers are down for the year about 27%, that was expected because of the park’s closure from March 24 through May 9. Now, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is back on track, and we couldn’t be happier!
Why So Many People Are Visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park welcomes millions of visitors each year, and it’s no surprise to us that the park is starting to break visitation records once again. See why so many people are visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:
1. Peaceful Escape
With everything that’s going on, what everyone needs is a peaceful escape to the Smokies! Visitors love being able to leave their stress and worries behind and enjoy a relaxing time in the mountains. Whether you’re taking a drive through Cades Cove or watching the sunrise over the mountaintops, the peacefulness of the Smokies is enough to make anyone’s day better! As we mentioned above, backcountry camping and smaller park entrances saw an increase in visitors. That’s because everyone loves escaping the hustle and bustle and spending time in nature!
If you’re looking for things to do to avoid the crowds and have a peaceful visit to the park, read our blog, “5 Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains to Avoid Crowds.”
2. Gorgeous Views
Of course one of the biggest things that draws visitors to the Smoky Mountains is the beautiful scenery. There are breathtaking views everywhere you turn in the national park. Whether you’re hoping to see sweeping mountain vistas or waterfalls, there are plenty of picture-perfect sights to see in the Smokies. Be sure to have your camera ready when you visit so you can capture the views to look at any time you want!
3. Wildlife Viewing
Another part of what makes the park so great is the abundance of wildlife. Visitors come near and far with hopes of catching sight of a black bear or other Smoky Mountain animals! Some of the best places to spot wildlife are in open areas like Cades Cove, and along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Those who visited in June had the chance to see plenty of black bears, white-tailed deer, and more!
4. Plenty of Opportunities for Fun
There are so many things to do in the Smoky Mountains, which is part of the reason the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country. There are more than 800 miles of hiking trails to explore that offer incredible views of mountains, streams, waterfalls, historic buildings and wildlife! If you don’t feel like hiking, take in the scenery from your car along one of the many scenic drives. You can also go horseback riding, fishing, picnicking, camping and more. There is something for everyone in the Smoky Mountains!
About the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country. It’s famous for its diversity in both plant and animal life, its rich history and its stunning scenery. The mountains themselves are estimated to be between 200 and 300 million years old, making them the oldest mountain ranges on Earth! One thing that makes the park so special is that there’s no entrance fee. Visitors can enjoy everything the Smokies have to offer without spending a dime! From hiking trails, to wildlife, to gorgeous views — what’s not to love about the Smoky Mountains?
When you’re in need of a peaceful escape, it’s time to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Check out these tips for visiting the Smoky Mountains right now, and start planning your trip.