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Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Charge For Camping | 5 Star Campgrounds | RV Park Listings and Reviews

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Might Charge For Camping

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Entrance The Great Smoky Mountains National Park may have to start charging campers at some point in time. That time may be here very soon. There will be an open house Tuesday evening in Cherokee, NC and another at the National Park’s headquarters in Gatlinburg, TN on Thursday. There are bound to be those for charging a fee and others who will feel differently.

Along with charging campers, there will be more park rangers hired to ‘police’ the backwoods areas. Great Smoky Mountains National Park does not charge admission, and it is one of the few that doesn’t. In these poor economic times, that is probably a bad thing for the park, as it is short-handed.

There are about 90 back-country camping sites in the park and although you don’t have to pay for a site, you are required to get a permit, according to WRCB TV. Unfortunately, due to cutbacks, the office where you get the permits is only open 3 hours a day. It is a catch-22 situation. It does make this confusing for campers and other visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Not getting a permit then leads to folks not following the rules. Campers who do follow the rules are complaining that others leave trash around and they have their dogs with them. There are no dogs allowed at the campsites.

Our national parks are treasures. Everyone should be able to visit and enjoy them and leave them in good condition. Do not leave trash behind, do not take your dog to the campsites and always be considerate of others to follow. Last year over 9 million people visited the Smoky Mountains National Park. Imagine if every one of them left some trash behind!

Maybe paying a camping fee in order to have more ranger presence is a good idea. Whatever the outcome, fee or no fees, enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While in the area be sure to visit Gatlinburg, Sevierville and Pigeon Forge in Tennessee and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

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