Entries into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park were up a solid 21.7% last month over March 2011 entrance figures. The 611,326 visits for March 2012 was the all-time record for the month of March. The previous record was 564,878 visits for March 2007. This marks the fourth month in a row that Park travel was up.
Entrances for 2012 Year-to-date are up by 19.5 percent over 2011. In March 2012, all the Park’s three major entrances showed increases over March 2011 as follows:
Gatlinburg up 19.1 percent
Townsend up 22.0 percent
Cherokee up 16.5 percent
The total entrances at the 14 outlying entrances were also up by 28.5 percent. Park officials related, “The unseasonably warm weather this March is most likely responsible for bringing more people out to enjoy their national park.”