It was another record year for Maine state parks. According to the Portland Press Herald and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Land, more than 3.2 million people visited Maine's 42 parks and historic sites through the first 11 months of 2021. That number eclipses the previous record of 3.1 million, which was set in 2020.
The Press Herald added that it was also a tremendous year for Maine's state park campgrounds. According to the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, there was a 12 percent increase in campers from 2020, with the number coming in around 315,000.
The newspaper also points out the four most popular state parks this year:
Sebago Lake State - 189,959 visitors
Popham Beach State Park - 185,669 visitors
Reid State Park - 183,224 visitors
Camden Hills State Park - 180.835 visitors
Meanwhile, the Maine Bureau of Parks and Land's Jim Britt told the Press Herald that the Owls Head and Winterport regions saw the biggest increases in the state, with gains from 149 to 202 percent.
The COVID-19 economy has certainly played into the hands of Maine's tourism business. With more and more people looking for safer, social or anti-social activities, it should be to no surprise that the state's outdoor tourism economy has greatly benefitted.
There are millions of clean, picturesque, wild, perfect, socially-distant acres for folks to enjoy in this amazing state.
And that's exactly what I did this past year. I spent time in countless state parks and historic sites, even some I had never been to (Hello, Mt Blue).
We're extremely lucky to live in this state. Pandemic or not, Maine provides endless adventure for all walks of life. Whether it be a beach walk or scaling a rock wall, there are countless activities from Kittery to Fort Kent.
I've spent most of my 41 years in this state. However, I still love that I continually re-fall in love.
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