1. Travel

National Park Visitation Statistics


National Park visitation statistics showed some interesting trends in 2007. According to the National Park Service, there were 275,581,547 recreational visits in 2007, which marks an increase of nearly 3 million visits from 2006. This reverses a trend of three straight years of decline from 2004-2006. "Despite rising gas prices and the lure of electronic entertainment, this is great news," said National Park Service Director Mary A. Bomar. "With all the recreation choices available, national parks still draw more visits than Major League Baseball, the National Football League, professional basketball, soccer and NASCAR combined."

However, it could be argued that other than 2004 which resulted in a one-year jump in attendance due to the opening of the World War II National Memorial in Washington, DC, that the number of visits to national parks has been in decline since 1999, when it peaked at 287.1 million visits.

In terms of how the 2007 numbers break down, the 59 national parks drew the most visitors of any type of park, (62.3 million), followed by national parkways (31.1 million) and national memorials (30.0 million).

In terms of individual park units, the Blue Ridge Parkway recorded the highest number of visits in the national park system in 2007 with 17.4 million visits. The top five National Parks in terms of number of recreational visits included:

Great Smoky Mountains (9.4 million)
Grand Canyon (4.4 million)
Yosemite (3.5 million)
Yellowstone (3.2 million)
Olympic (3.0 million).

Rounding out the top ten included:

Rocky Mountain (2.9 million)
Zion (2.7 million)
Grand Teton (2.6 million)
Cuyahoga Valley (2.5 million)
Acadia (2.2 million.)

For complete statistical information on National Park visitation, go to the National Park Service Public Use Statistics Office web site.

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