It's still going to be free to enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but you will soon have to pay to park.

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Free to Enjoy

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the few free national parks in the country.  It's a great place to visit, and there is seriously SO much to do inside the national park.  The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most visited National Parks in the country as well. In fact, a report recently came out and in 2021 alone the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was the second most visited national park in the country with 14.1 million people making a visit to see the beauty of the Smoky Mountains.  As you can imagine with millions of visitors annually, they are missing out on an opportunity to pull in money, so the Great Smoky Mountain National Park has developed a plan to help the park earn more revenue.

Melissa/TSM
Melissa/TSM
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Park it Forward

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park took to Facebook to announce its Park it Forward initiative.  They polled thousands of people for ideas on how to add revenue to the park, and the thing people agreed on most, was keeping the park free, but having people pay to park within the park.

Melissa/TSM
Melissa/TSM
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Honestly, the fees are really low and not enough to keep me from enjoying the park.  Here's what the parking cost will be:

  • $5 for a daily parking tag
  • $15 for a parking tag for up to seven days
  • $40 annual parking tag.

The Park It Forward initiative will start on March 1st, 2023. 

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park says:

All revenue will stay in the park to provide sustainable, year-round support focusing on improving the visitor experience, protecting resources, and maintaining trails, roads, historic structures, and facilities. More details to come this fall on how you can purchase your parking tag before your visit!

Melissa/TSM
Melissa/TSM
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Personally, I think this is a great idea! I don't mind paying a little extra when I vacation to the Smoky Mountains to help the national park out.

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