- Associated Press - Friday, January 26, 2018

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) - Great Smoky Mountains National Park welcomed more than 11.3 million visitors last year, setting a new record for the second year in a row.

According to a park news release, the park saw a slight, 0.2 percent increase compared its 2016 visitor totals.

Its highest visitation month was July, followed by October and June.

Last year, the park hosted the largest special event in its history during the solar eclipse in August.

More than 15,600 people attended eclipse events offered at Cades Cove, Clingmans Dome, Oconaluftee Visitor Center, and Sugarlands Visitor Center.

And more than 47,000 visitors entered the park from the four main entrances to view the eclipse on Aug. 21, a 64 percent increase in visitation for that day compared to 2016.

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