Blue Ridge Parkway Welcomes Over 15 Million Visitors in 2016

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From the National Park Service Centennial to the Pokemon Go craze, visitors were motivated to get out and find their park in 2016. On the Blue Ridge Parkway, rangers welcomed 15,175,578 visitors enjoying park picnic areas, exhibits, programs, campgrounds, concession facilities and other outdoor recreation opportunities.

Visitation highlights from the Parkway in 2016 include:

  • Tent camping overnight stays across all Parkway campgrounds were up 14 percent, as compared to nation-wide NPS average increase of 4.8 percent over 2015
  • Bookstore sales in park visitor centers, managed by Parkway partner Eastern National, saw a more than 20 percent increase in sales over 2015
  • The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of only four NPS park sites that received more than 10 million recreational visits in 2016

“These highlights demonstrate that Parkway visitors continue to explore this historic motor route, including its cultural experiences and recreational opportunities, in ways that deepen their engagement with park resources,” said Parkway Superintendent Mark Woods.  “The Blue Ridge Parkway and nearby communities have enjoyed a long history of high visitation, and this increased engagement during the National Park Service centennial demonstrates that park resources are being enjoyed by a new generation of visitors.”

Detailed park visitation information and additional information on how these statistics are calculated is available online at https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/Reports/Park .

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