Great Smoky Mountains Nat. Park Visits Up 9%
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park entered the fall foliage season with nearly 9% more visitors, year-to-date.
Figures released by the National Park Service showed 963,317 people came to the park in September — a 9.2% increase over September 2011, Associated Press reported.
Through the first nine months of this year, visits were up 8.9%, meaning 602,000 more people have come to the Smokies this year than in the first three quarters of 2011.
Park officials said September is a transition month that usually sees a slight lull in visits between Labor Day and the start of the “leaf peeper” season late in the month.
The park covers 500,000 acres on the Tennessee-North Carolina border and is the most-visited of the national parks.