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Smokies all-time visitation record already shattered with one month left to go in 2019

By the end of the year, it's likely more than 12-million people will have visited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2019

More people than ever before visited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2019.

According to attendance numbers through November, 11,827,112 people came to the nation's most-visited national park. 

That already beats the total for all of last year, which was 11,421,200.

That number will continue to rise when December's numbers are counted, and the week between Christmas and New Year's is one of the biggest weeks of the year for tourists in the Smokies.

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The GSMNP measures visitation at its three main entrances in Gatlinburg, Townsend, and Oconaluftee.  It also has a fourth category of "outlying areas" that include Big Creek, Greenbrier, Cosby, and the Foothills Parkway.

The park has been breaking visitation records all year long.

Nearly a million people visited the Smokies in April.  The official figure of 999,259 recreational visitors was a 15.2 percent increase over the previous record set in April 2017 (867,375).

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The park also set monthly records for January, March, and April.  

In the first four months of 2019, all three main entrances broke visitation records.  The biggest difference was for outlying areas with a nearly 33 percent increase over the previous record, thanks in large part to the new section of the Foothills Parkway.

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