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late April or early to mid May?

Homestead, Florida
posts: 8
late April or early to mid May?

I am beginning to plan a trip to GSMNP. I can't leave home until after April 21..... I am not interested in being there during the busy season. Is the park very busy during the first two weeks in May? I would be staying in the Cherokee and Pigeon Forge/Townsend areas. I would not venture into the park on weekends.

posts: 450
1. Re: late April or early to mid May?

It will not be very busy. Those are my favorite 2 weeks to be in the park.

Townsend, Tennessee
Destination Expert
for Townsend, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
posts: 946
reviews: 16
2. Re: late April or early to mid May?

Great time of year to visit after most Spring Breakers and before the more heavily visited months of the summer. April 23 - 27 are the dates for this year's wildflower pilgrimage so there will be a small increase in visitors for this event. The 2013 Spring Festival and Old Timer's Day in Townsend is scheduled 3 - 4 May. You mentioned staying on both the NC and TN side of the park. The NPS will be repairing a road slide on 441 on the NC side likely through Mid May at least, the recommended detour is I-40 and into Gatlinburg on 321.

posts: 802
3. Re: late April or early to mid May?

if it were me, i would choose late April to catch the tail-end of the spring wildflower peaks. May's still great for wildflowers... might could catch the lower elevation Mountain Laurel bloom, which is one of my favorites.

i wouldn't think there would be much of a difference between those two time periods with regards to crowds.

as tnoutdrsmn pointed out, keep in mind the road work on Newfound Gap Road... might not be able to get from Townsend to Cherokee without a long, long detour.

Chickamauga, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Orlando, Walt Disney World
posts: 34,113
reviews: 65
4. Re: late April or early to mid May?

I would avoid the weekend around May 10th as this is Dolly's Homecoming Parade weekend.

5. Re: late April or early to mid May?

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