Yet another post on this topic. God bless the internet giving us the opportunity to share our opinions like there are people who care what we think. So here I begin again, sharing my opinion with you guys, the few people who actually do follow me and my craziness.
I posted in the beginning of January a similar post, #FindYourPark and Treat It Well.
NPR published an article yesterday, Long Lines, Packed Campsites And Busy Trails: Our Crowded National Parks.
But the success of campaigns like the National Park Service’s Find Your Park and others from state tourism offices has created a huge demand. Last year, a record 305 million people visited national parks. As the Park Service likes to point out, that’s more people than went to every single Disney park, NFL, NBA and MLB game and NASCAR race combined.
The article discusses many of the struggles that parks are facing with an increase of visitation. As I mentioned in my previous post, the Find Your Park campaign may be working a little too well. Traffic is getting horrible, there are more medicals and emergencies, and longer lines to go on tours and hikes.
Our National Parks are getting loved to death.
That sounds horrible doesn’t it. I want to think of it as a good thing though. People love our National Parks! It is however, mostly our “National Parks”, the more well know places. While visitation is increasing to our smaller National Monuments, National Battlefields, and more, its nothing compared to the “National Parks”.
What’s the point of this Ranger Kaiti May? We already know all of this. Well, I want to encourage you to expand your thinking.
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, who said we only had to have “one park”. Why can’t we have more than one? Does it really just need to cover National Parks, or can it cover state parks, city parks, national forests, or more?
I think if you plan on doing a National Park trip this year, maybe also look for smaller parks in that area too. Be prepared for traffic and crowds, and do some planning before you go. Check out the National Forests that usually surround the parks. They are a treasure trove of lesser know hiking trails and more.
Expand your mind and get outdoors.