GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK (WATE) — The numbers continue to stack up at East Tennessee’s national park. While the year isn’t yet over, a new record has already been set for the number of recreational visitors to the Smokies for 2021.

Data shared by National Park Service officials this week, after tallying up November’s numbers, indicate that with only December left to count there have been 13,304,740 visitors to the park. That’s the highest number of recreation visits since the park began keeping track in 1979. The tally doesn’t include visitors in December, so that total will rise again. Park officials have said they expected visits to the park to increase during the holiday season.

The previous record was set in 2019 at 12,547,743 visits. GSMNP officials said back then  that visitors were more consistently reporting traffic congestion, busy restrooms, and over-full parking areas throughout the year; efforts were made over the last several months to ease those issues.

Here’s a breakdown of the number of recreation visits in 2021 to the Smokies:

January – 525,801
February – 502,459
March – 931,060
April – 1,169,469
May – 1,363,183
June – 1,539,247
July – 1,730,987
August – 1,398,161
September – 1,355,599
October – 1,633,547
November – 1,155,227
December – No data yet
Current Total: 13,304,740