A large jump in visitation at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2012 over 2011 is being attributed to mild weather during the winter and spring months, National Parks Traveler reported.

Park officials say that by December 31, 2012, 9,685,828 people had visited the park for recreational purposes. That’s a 7.5% boost from 2011, when the yearly visited reached 9,008,835, and the highest number the Smokies has counted since 2000 when 10.1 million visited.

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