Smokies sees more than 10 million visitors in 2014 for 1st time since 2000

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GATLINBURG, Tennessee — The Great Smoky Mountains National Park got more than 10 million visitors last year. It's the first time that's happened since 2000 and only the fourth time in the park's 80 year history.

According to the park, visitation in 2014 was just over 10,099,000. That's an increase of 8 percent over the previous year. Also, camping at the park's developed campgrounds increased by 14 percent over 2013 and backcountry camping increased by 11 percent.

Overall visitation in 2014 was higher than 2013 for nearly every month, but July and August were especially strong and October had its highest visitation in 27 years.

The record for highest visitation ever in a year was in 1999, when 10,284,000 people visited the park.

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