Montana State Parks has announced that 2015 annual visitation was over 2.48 million visits; setting a record for the third straight year.
According to the 2015 Annual Visitation Report, statewide visitation for Montana State Parks was up 11% from 2014 and up 34% over the last 10 years. A new trend in 2015 was increased visitation during the spring and fall shoulder seasons (February – April, October – November).
“We’re encouraged to see our State Park visitation continue to set record numbers in 2015,” said Chas Van Genderen, Administrator for Montana State Parks. “Increased park visitation is positive news for Montana’s families, communities and local economies as well. Montana’s residents and out-of-state visitors understand the value that our park system brings to our great state. Montana State Parks continues to be Montana’s leader in outdoor recreation and has been providing affordable and safe access for families to camp, hike, fish, and learn about Montana’s heritage for over 75 years”
Montana resident visitation remained strong in 2015 with over 1.9 million visits. Non-resident visits rose slightly to 21%; up from 15% in 2011.
Once again, the North Central Region (Great Falls area) had the highest annual visitation in the state with over 727,800 visits. Giant Springs State Park drew the highest visitation of all state parks with over 419,000 visits as well as the highest annual visitation for a single park in the last 10 years.
To view the complete report visit: 2015 Annual Visitation Report.
The top 5 Montana Parks for annual visitation are:
1- Giant Springs State Park, Great Falls - 419,800 visits (up 33%)
2- Flathead Lake State Park, Flathead Lake - 281,000 visits (up 4%)
3- Cooney State Park, Roberts - 184,790 visits (up 15%)
4- Lake Elmo State Park, Billings - 172,200 visits (up 5%)
5- Spring Meadow Lake State Park, Helena - 172,000 visits (up 21%)