Good June keeps Smokies 11.5 percent plus for year

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is running more than 11 percent ahead of 2011 visits for the first half of this year.

Park officials said Wednesday that June visitation was up 7.2 percent — a total of 1,202,056 visitors to the 500,000-acre park on the Tennessee-North Carolina border. The year-to-date figure is up 11.5 percent over the first six months of 2011. That means an additional 410,767 people have come into the park this year.

Smokies spokeswoman Molly Schroer said the park is also 3.6 percent ahead of the 5-year average for park visits.