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Best May ever for Smokies visits

By news admin

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) - The mountains were a popular destination last month.

The National Park Service said the Great Smoky Mountains National Park had nearly 886,000 visitors in May - the most ever in any May. The number was up by 10.5 percent, or more than 86,000 people, from May 2012.

Year-to-date visitation is down by 5.5 percent from the five-year average, however. For the first five months of 2013, the park recorded just more than 2,506,000 visitors. That was 273,000 fewer than in the first five months of 2012.