News from the DNR Office of Communications

Maryland State Parks Experience Record Attendance Over Holiday Weekend

Annapolis, Md. (September 16, 2010) —  The Maryland Parks Service (MPS), a division of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), experienced a record number of visitors at State Parks over the Labor Day holiday weekend. A total of 345,976 visitors enjoyed Maryland State Parks from Friday, September 3 through Monday, September 6, a significant increase from holiday weekends in previous years.

“Maryland State Parks are the perfect destination for families during holiday weekends or any other time of the year,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Our Parks give Maryland families the opportunity for outdoor education, serene and peaceful escapes from city life as well as fun family activities.”

While many State Parks were busy handling the heavy traffic and full campgrounds, a few were particularly active over the weekend. Hundreds of patrons visited the fort at Fort Frederick State Park and seasonal rangers talked with more than 1,000 users who enjoyed biking and hiking the nearby Western Maryland Rail Trail. The Nature Center at Assateague State Park and on-site naturalist programs attracted 1,600 park guests, and Dundee Creek Marina at Gunpowder Falls State Park was popular with area crabbers.

The following areas filled to capacity at some point over the holiday weekend:

Sunday, September 5 – Greenbrier
Sunday, September 5 – Cunningham Falls
Sunday, September 5 – Assateague
Sunday, September 5 – Patapsco (Avalon)
Monday, September 6 – Greenbrier

The following figures represent the number of visitors that all State Parks experienced from Friday through Monday over the Labor Day holiday weekend for the past four years:

Year Total
2010 345,976
2009 289,662
2008 295,933

   September 16, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 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