From Travel Pulse
Choosing a national park to visit isn’t typically a popularity contest, but perhaps the masses are onto something.
CNN reports on the most popular parks this nation has to offer its citizens and International visitors.The list is a trove of possibilities for anyone considering meandering about some gorgeous landscapes this summer.
The report is rife with trivia from the National Park Service’s tremendously successful 2016, but one particularly intriguing tidbit offers a spotlight for the nation’s more popular destinations: As noted, the centennial year led to a record 331 million visits to the nation’s sites.
That represents a near eight percent increase from the previous year.
Here are the parks that especially drew masses of curious travelers: Golden Gate National Recreation Area (over 15.6 million visitors), Blue Ridge Parkway (15.2 million), Great Smoky Mountains National Park (11.3 million) and George Washington Memorial Parkway (10.3 million).
Other notables included on the list: Grand Canyon National Park (5.9 million), Yosemite National Park (over 5 million), Rocky Mountain National Park (4.5 million) and Zion National Park (4.2 million visitors).
READ MORE: The Best National Parks for Spring Break
CNN quotes US Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke who expounded on a wonderfully successful campaign in 2016 — one that celebrated 100 years of the park service:
“Our National Parks are our national treasures, and it’s important to recognize that they are more than just beautiful landscapes. Growing up near Glacier National Park, I understand the value these places bring to local economies and in preserving our heritage.”
Zinke continued with an emphasis on the service’s direction: “As we enter into a second century of service and visitation numbers continue to increase, we will focus on maintenance backlogs and ensuring these special places are preserved for future generations.”
For more, you can visit CNN, which has the full breakdown of most-popular sites and parks.
Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 Southern Arizona News-Examiner