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Visitors Flock To Maryland State Parks Over July Fourth Weekend
ANNAPOLIS — Taking advantage of the long weekend, beautiful weather and excellent outdoor recreation conditions, visitors thronged to Maryland’s 49 state parks over the July Fourth weekend. Many of the state parks were filled to capacity by 9:30 A.M. each day over the four-day holiday weekend.
“The July Fourth holiday turned into a banner weekend for Maryland’s state parks,” said Maryland Park Service (MPS) Superintendent Colonel Rick Barton. “We know that visitors are coming to the parks not only for an unparalleled outdoor experience, but for the friendly customer service they receive from our dedicated park staff. We anticipate the weekends to be busy throughout the rest of the summer and encourage visitors to utilize the parks during the week to avoid the crowds.”
A total of 382,649 people visited Maryland’s state parks over the holiday weekend; 40,298 of those visitors were overnight users. This well surpasses the 320,654 visitors over the 2004 July Fourth weekend. Based on the Economic Impact Study recently prepared by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, the estimated economic impact of overnight users for the weekend was over $2.3 million dollars. This figure does not include activity from day users, secondary economic benefits, or tax revenue to the state and local governments generated from visitor expenditures.
The busiest parks in each of the four regions of the state were:
WESTERN REGION: Rocky Gap State Park
CENTRAL REGION: Gunpowder Falls State Park
EASTERN REGION: Assateague State Park
SOUTHERN REGION: Sandy Point State Park
The Maryland Park Service, a division of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), manages more than 2500 campsites, 131 cabins, encompassing more than 133,000 acres of land. Maryland’s 49 State Parks are a vital component in Maryland’s economy and quality of life, offering some of the best outdoor recreational opportunities in the state.
For more information about Maryland state parks, camping reservations, or to purchase an annual park pass and trail guides online, visit us at www.dnr.maryland.gov.
July 6, 2005
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 446,000 acres of public lands and 18,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov