While some people spend their summer at the beaches, a lot of families, and even folks without kids, will head out this summer to experience some of the great National Parks this country has to offer. And it’s pretty apparent that some parks are way more popular than others.
According to the National Park Service, more than 297 million people visited a National Park last year, up 60 million from 2020, with six parks breaking visitation records they set in 2020. Of course COVID probably had something to do with the lower numbers in 2020 due to the closure of several parks.
So, which parks did most people visit?
- Topping the list for 2021 is Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina, which saw 15.9 million visitors.
- Coming in second is Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee, which had 14.1 million visitor, an increase of about two million from the year before, and a record for the park.
Top Ten Most Visited National Parks in 2021
- Blue Ridge Parkway, VA & NC (15.9 million visitors)
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC & TN (14.1 million)
- Golden Gate National Recreation Area, CA (13.7 million)
- Gateway National Recreation Area, NY & NJ (9.1 million)
- Lake Mead National Recreation Area, NV & AZ (7.6 million)
- George Washington Memorial Parkway, MD, VA & DC (6.8 million)
- Natchez Trace Parkway, TN, AL & MI (6.4 million)
- Lincoln Memorial, DC (5.8 million)
- Gulf Islands National Seashore, FL & MI (5.5 million)
- Zion National Park, UT (5 million)
Source: National Park Service