Gov. Pat McCrory announced this week that attendance at North Carolina’s state parks set a new record in 2015. More than 17.3 million people visited the state’s 39 parks, up from 15.6 million the previous year, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.
“An 11 percent increase proves that nothing compares to the enriching experience of a visit to a North Carolina state park,” Gov. McCrory said. “North Carolina’s natural beauty is an important part of our overall quality of life that is second to none. I commend the men and women of our parks division for creating unique adventures that can turn a visit into a lifetime memory, and sharing our vision of preserving our state parks for future generations.”
Among 39 state parks and state recreation areas, 30 reported increases in attendance in 2015. Jordan Lake State Recreation Area in Chatham County reported the highest attendance at 1.6 million visits and was among six state park units logging more than a million visitors. The others were Fort Macon, Jockey’s Ridge and William B. Umstead state parks and Falls Lake and Kerr Lake state recreation areas. In recent years, many state parks have added special events to their calendars to complement system-wide events such as First Day Hikes, National Trails Day and Take a Child Outside Week.