National park visitation down in January

Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) -- There were fewer people visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in January than a year ago.

The park reports visitation was down 1.4% compared to January 2012. The report shows visitation was 3.5% below the 5 year average and the second lowest visitation rate for the month in 5 years.

Visitation for Entrances:
Gatlinburg: 92,938
Townsend: 42,353
Oconaluftee: 55,147
Outlying Areas: 75,195

The park believes an above average amount of precipitation, and subsequent road closures, likely contributed to the decrease in the park’s January visitation. The park averages around 5-7 inches of rain during the month of January, but received 14-17 inches during January 2013.


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