Although my personal favorite of Ft Ransom didn’t make the list, I’m still a huge fan of ND State Parks…and I’m not alone
Through the first half of 2010, visitation at North Dakota’s state parks continues to improve on last year, which saw over a million visitors.
The state’s parks have seen 401,394 visitors through the first six months, up 6.7 percent. In June the parks recorded 108,808 visitors, up nearly 4 percent of June in 2009.
The number of campers is also up on 2010. Through the long Independence Day weekend there were 23,431 campers in the parks, up 5.7 percent over the same time period in 2009. State park cabins have also been popular showing an increase of 12.3 percent in use.
North Dakota state parks are a great value for vacationers and those just looking to get away from it all and visitation reflects that,” Mark Zimmerman, director of North Dakota Parks and Recreation says. “Staff takes pride in providing well taken care of facilities and good service for people using the parks. We want visitors to have a good time in a comfortable atmosphere whether they want to participate in the many activities offered or just relax.”
With the rise of Lake Sakakawea, the popularity of the adjacent state parks is also growing. Lake Sakakawea State Park is up 7.5 percent in visitation, Fort Stevenson State Park up 10.8 percent and Lewis & Clark State Park up 26.7 percent. Fort Stevenson boasts two marinas, a new one opening just this year. And the Lewis & Clark marina is full of water for the first time in over a decade. New docks and a fueling station were provided Lewis and Clark in 2010.
Grahams Island State Park, despite battling the rise of Devils Lake, remains busy with 43,385 visitors recorded in 2010, up 2 percent over 2009.
Nearly all of the state parks have seen improvement, Zimmerman points out. Expectations are visitation will continue to grown in 2010 as the weather continues to cooperate providing moderate temperatures and plenty of moisture to keep the parks lush and green.