Great Smoky Mountains National Park adding parking fees, charging extra for camping facilities

Group to livestream Great Smoky National Park's famous synchronous fireflies on Monday
Posted at 5:06 PM, Apr 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 18:40:30-04

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WTVF) — Great Smoky Mountains National Park announced intentions to begin charging parking fees and to increase rates for camping facilities including campsites, day-use cabin rentals and picnic pavilions. The changes would be effective next year.

According to the park, visitation increased 57% over the past decade and has taken a toll on amenities. Adding a daily parking pass for as little as $5 could make a big difference.

Additional revenue from the planned changes would allow the park to address renovations, law enforcement staffing challenges and services including trail maintenance and trash removal.

The park is seeking public comment through May 7, and it has scheduled a virtual public meeting on April 14 to discuss the proposals.

For more information and a further explanation, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has detailed its proposal on its website.