Visitation to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park dropped once again in June, when compared to the higher numbers of 2010.
Numbers released by the park show entries into the park were down 17.6% from 2010 levels. That means 238,000 fewer people visited the park this June compared to last.
All park entrances showed declines during the month of June 2011. Gatlinburg was down 11.6%, Townsend dropped 15.1%
with Cherokee showing a 1.7% decrease. The 13 outlying entrances dropped 31.1% during the month of June.
The park service has attributed the decrease in visitation, which has been off by more than 11% in the first half of the year, to the inflated numbers of 2010, when a rockslide on I-40 funneled more visitors than usual into the park. Higher gas prices may also be having an impact.
Camping in the Smokies front country campgrounds is also down this year, dropping 10.5% in June and by 6.8% for the year so far.