Posted: Sep 25, 2012 2:56 PM by Dennis Bragg - MTN News
Updated: Sep 25, 2012 2:56 PM
HELENA - It isn't just Glacier National Park that's seen a bump in tourist visits this summer, as Montana State Parks is also reporting a solid increase in park visits through the summer.
New reports from state parks administrators show nearly 1.3 million people visited a Montana park until during the just completed summer season. That's a 7% increase over last year and a 16% increase over the five-year average.
The Kalispell region saw the largest overall visitation this summer, with more than 300,000 people using parks in Northwest Montana. Wayfarers State Park on Flathead Lake was the busiest with over 80,000 people using the park.
Among other Western Montana parks, Placid Lake State Park say a robust 36% increase in the number of people camping and using the park for day trips.
"The numbers tell us how much Montanans and out-of-state visitors value state parks as a place to spend time with family and friends camping, fishing, swimming, hiking and enjoying Montana's outdoor heritage," said Chas Van Genderen, Administrator for Montana State Parks. "These visitation numbers are great news for our communities and local economies."
The season peaked in July with more than 445,000 visitors. August was the second busiest month, followed by June and then May.