National Park Visits Top 127M, up 4% over '08
The Obama administration says visits to national parks are up nearly 4% this year compared to a year earlier, according to Associated Press.
The National Park Service said today (Aug. 17) that 127.7 million visits were made to national parks in the first six months of the year, an increase of about 4.5 million over the same period in 2008. In June alone, officials say visits to national parks increased by more than 700,000.
Officials credit "free weekends" offered this summer for part of the increase, but say visits were up even before the fee waivers began in June.
The economic slowdown may have forced people to take long weekends at parks near urban areas. Visits to Virginia's Shenandoah National Park, Acadia National Park in Maine and Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania were up.