Great Smoky Mountain National Park

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A Little History: Or How the Smoky Mountains
Became a National Park

Photographs courtesy of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Service

Park Visitation

The first full year the Park was open, more than one million people visited. Visitation-has grown steadily (except for the war years of the forties) until nearly ten million visitors annually enjoy the benefits of the National Park. Not all is well, however. The numbers are so great that the environment is adversely affected. The Smokies are even smokier than ever before. Pollution is beginning have a permanent effect on the beautiful mountain views. Development around the Park has created unbelievable traffic jams at certain times of the tourist season, particularly on weekends. Officials are exploring ways to solve these problems. It won't be easy, because one huge promise was made in the original charter was that there would never be an admission charge and that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park would always be protected for the enjoyment of all the people for generations to come.

So the Park is still being "made". We must do our part to enjoy the Park, but also help protect it for our future generations. Observe the beneficial restrictions that are placed on the visitor, and we can all enjoy the Park for generations to come.

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