Popular vacation destination for Mississippians to begin charging new fee

Published 7:36 am Wednesday, January 18, 2023

The next trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will cost a little bit more as new parking fees begin just in time for spring break.

Park officials announced the new fees are necessary to maintain the park and insure its future viability.

“Park it Forward is crucial to the future of the park and its resources,” GSMNP Superintendent Cassius Cash said. “Parking tag sales will provide critically needed support to protect and enhance the visitor experience, not just for tomorrow, but for generations to come.”

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Parking tags officially went on sale Tuesday to help make the transition “as smooth as possible,” Cash added.

The “Park It Forward” program includes several tiers of parking options. First, people simply driving through the park and parking for a quick break of not more than 15 minutes will continue to have free parking. Then, daily tags will be available for $5, weekly tags for $15, and annual passes for $40. It’s also important to note that passes will include the license plate number of the vehicle and are not transferable between vehicles, including when a vehicle is sold or purchased.

Display of the physical tags or passes is required and reprints from digital sources will not be accepted, according to park leadership. Passes are not refundable or replaceable, and do not guarantee a parking space.

Tags and passes will be available for purchase at visitor centers at park entrances, and annual passes may be purchased ahead of time by clicking here.