The Linn Cove Viaduct crosses fall foliage on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carollina.
Chicago Tribune—MCT via Getty Images
By Daniel White
February 17, 2016

Ahead of its 100-year anniversary celebration, the National Park Service announced its most visited parks last year with the release of its annual visitors data.

The park service reported more than 307 million visitors, breaking its previous attendance record of 292.8 million and up 4.9% from the 2014 total.

“The popularity of national parks is well known, but last year’s numbers really are extraordinary,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis in a statement. “As the National Park Service celebrates its 100th year, we’re preparing to welcome more visitors than ever including a new generation of park supporters and advocates who are discovering their own national park adventures.”

The most visited out of all parks monitored by the National Park Service was Blue Ridge Parkway (some 15 million visitors), a scenic roadway that runs for 469 miles through North Carolina and Virginia. Among actual national parks, Great Smoky Mountains National Park (more than 10.7 million visitors) was the most trafficked, located along the North Carolina and Tennessee border.

Below are lists of the visitation totals from the National Park Service.

All parks in the National Park System

  1. Blue Ridge Parkway – 15,054,603
  2. Golden Gate National Recreation Area – 14,888,537
  3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park – 10,712,674
  4. Lincoln Memorial – 7,941,771
  5. Lake Mead National Recreation Area – 7,298,465
  6. George Washington Memorial Parkway – 7,286,463
  7. Gateway National Recreation Area – 6,392,565
  8. Natchez Trace Parkway – 5,785,812
  9. Vietnam Veterans Memorial – 5,597,077
  10. Grand Canyon National Park – 5,520,736

National Parks

  1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park – 10,712,674
  2. Grand Canyon National Park – 5,520,736
  3. Rocky Mountain National Park – 4,155,916
  4. Yosemite National Park – 4,150,217
  5. Yellowstone National Park – 4,097,710
  6. Zion National Park – 3,648,846
  7. Olympic National Park – 3,263,761
  8. Grand Teton National Park – 3,149,921
  9. Acadia National Park – 2,811,184
  10. Glacier National Park – 2,366,056

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