BILLINGS- — According to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, state parks across Montana have seen a “record number of visitors” so far in 2021, including ones in the Billings area.
Montana State Parks recorded 393,175 park visitors in the first quarter of 2021, a 20.2% increase over 2020 and a 78% increase over the same period in 2019.
Pictograph Cave State Park located east of Billings was closed for three months earlier this year, but since reopening in mid-April, the park has seen a large number of visitors.
“The month of April we saw about 1,300 visitors out here in half a month, and in the month of May we saw about 2,400 visitors and so far this month, (June 2021) we’ve saw 1,000 visitors in only 10 days,” says Richard Tuke, the park ranger at Pictograph Cave State Park.
Lake Elmo State Park is the fifth most visited state park in Montana this year with nearly 30,000 visitors already.
Eighty percent of the 55 Montana state parks have seen an increase in visitors this year.