GATLINBURG, Tenn. – To celebrate the anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act, Great Smoky Mountains National Park will take part in fee-free day on Friday, Aug. 4. Park visitors will not need to buy or display a parking tag that day. The Smokies will also participate in the two remaining National Park Service fee-free days in 2023: National Public Lands Day on Sept. 23 and Veterans Day on Nov. 11.
The Great American Outdoors Act, passed on Aug. 4, 2020, provides funding to make significant enhancements in national parks and other public lands to ensure their preservation and provide opportunities for recreation, education, and enjoyment for current and future visitors.
The Smokies parking tag program went into effect on March 1, requiring all vehicles parked longer than 15 minutes anywhere in the park to display a valid tag. All revenue generated from the program stays in the park to improve the visitor experience, from trail maintenance and increased custodial services to more education programs and emergency responders.
Visitors who wish to buy a weekly or annual tag on fee-free days may continue to do so online, in the park, and at various locations in park communities. Park rangers will continue their parking enforcement efforts on fee-free days, such as issuing warnings and citations for vehicles parked in marked no parking areas.
- National Park Service release