Great Smoky Mountains National Park recorded the highest October visitation in 27 years with 1,261,104 people visiting the park. October is traditionally the second busiest month of the year for the national park, driven by visitors coming to see the park’s fall foliage. This year, visitors continued to come to the park despite record rainfall at the beginning of the month, a strong wind event, and a major snow storm on the last day of the month.
Although visitation through the park’s major entrances at Gatlinburg, Townsend, and Cherokee was up, outlying areas led the way in making this month the fourth highest October on record. Visitation at the outlying areas of the park in October was 73% above the 20-year average. Outlying areas include places like Foothills Parkway, Cosby, Big Creek, Greenbrier, Deep Creek, Cataloochee, and Abrams Creek.
Visitation has been up nearly every month this year with over eight million people visiting the park so far. The highest annual visitation on record was set in 1999 when 10,283,598 people visited Great Smoky Mountains National Park.