New Foothills Parkway Raises 2018 National Park Visitation

New foothills parkway raises Smoky Mountain attendance.

New Foothills Parkway Raises National Park Visitation In 2018.

New Foothills Parkway Raises 2018 National Park Visitation. Great Smoky Mountains National Park reported 11,421,203 visitors in 2018. The 0.7% increase over 2017 is attributed to the opening of the new section of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley in November. Nearly 200,000 visitors experienced this new park opportunity which resulted in record-setting visitation in both November and December.

“The new section of the Foothills Parkway is a spectacular scenic driving destination and we’re pleased that so many people have already enjoyed it,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “We hope that people take the time to explore it across the seasons.”

Great Smoky Mountains Foothills Parkway

Great Smoky Mountains Foothills Parkway

Park visitation across the park remained relatively stable compared to 2017. The highest visitation occured in July, followed by June and then October. Monthly visitation records were set during June, September, November, and December. Visitors spent approximately 400,000 nights camping in the park,  down 3% from 2017, but still within the 5-year average. The park offers 9 front country campgrounds and 100 backcountry campsites for visitors to enjoy. The most popular campgrounds include Cades Cove, Elkmont, Smokemont, and Cosby.

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