Ask Outdoors Girl

July 19, 2009|By Candus Thomson

Norma Paulsen of Howard County asks: "I know Maryland's state parks attract more than 11 million visitors each year. What were the top 10 most popular parks last year, and how many people visited them?"

Nita Settina, superintendent of Maryland state parks, replies: "Here are our top 10 parks for attendance from July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2009, with the total number of visitors for each: Assateague (1.08 million), Patapsco Valley (963,920); Gunpowder Falls (917,333); Sandy Point (873,052); Deep Creek (851,827); Seneca Creek (657,258); Fair Hill (537,992); Rocky Gap (502,571); Point Lookout (369,194); and Greenbrier (294,843).

"With 275,226 overnight visitors, Assateague is the king of camping in the state park system; eight of the 10 parks provide access to natural water body recreation for fishing, swimming and boating on lakes, the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Three of the top 10 parks provide a combined 270 miles of trails - Patapsco Valley, Fair Hill and the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail, which is counted as part of Gunpowder Falls State Park.

"Many parks were full on July 4th weekend. The weather is cooperating. We're on our way to another great year."

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