GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — On Wednesday, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park launched the ‘Park It Forward’ program which requires visitors to buy and display a valid parking tag for any vehicle parking for more than 15 minutes.

There are several options for park visitors. There is a $5 daily tag, a $15 weekly tag, and a $40 annual parking tag. All can be purchased either online or at the park’s visitor centers.

Any annual tags purchased before Wednesday, March 1 will be valid through the end of March 2024.

Parking tags cannot be transferred between vehicles and must include the license plate number matching the vehicle in which it is displayed. Obtaining a parking tag will not guarantee a parking spot at a specific location. Parking will continue to be available on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the park. 

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Park officials say visitors will directly contribute to protecting the park when they buy a parking tag. All revenue generated through the Park it Forward program will remain in the park to support operational costs for managing and improving visitor services such as trail maintenance, custodial services, and trash removal.

The program will also support more resource education programs, emergency responders, and law enforcement staff across the park.