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Montana State Parks sees record setting visitation in 2020

Recreation News

Friday, November 20, 2020

Montana State Parks sees record setting visitation in 2020

Eight parks exceed 100,000 visitors

HELENA – Montana State Parks hosted 3 million visitors from January through September of this year. Compared with the same time period last year, visitation increased by 24.4 percent. Visitation increased at 80 percent of state parks across Montana for the year, with eight parks exceeding 100,000 visitors.

“These visitation increases represent the busiest summer on record for the State Park system. FWP staff, volunteers, and AmeriCorps members went above and beyond to keep these sites open, and to safely host visitors in the face of the pandemic,” said Martha Williams, FWP director. “Countless families and visitors to Montana had memorable park visits this summer, and we hope their positive experiences will keep them coming back to enjoy the great recreational and cultural opportunities stewarded by Montana State Parks.”

The top five most visited parks between January and September of this year were: 
1- Flathead Lake State Park (all units), Flathead Lake - 439,298 visitors (up 33.5 percent)
2- Cooney Reservoir State Park, Roberts - 330,730 visitors (up 26 percent) 
3- Giant Springs State Park, Great Falls - 312,655 visitors (down -0.2 percent)
4- Lake Elmo State Park, Billings - 206,091 visitors (up 25.7 percent)

5- Thompson Chain of Lakes State Park, Libby - 155,483 visitors (up 42.5 percent)

 

State Park Regions - Visitation Snapshot for January -September 2020:

Below is a list of the most highly visited state parks in each of FWP's administrative regions:

Region 1 (Kalispell): Flathead Lake State Park (all units) had the highest visitation in the region with an estimated 439,298 visitors, an increase of 33.5 percent over the same time period last year.

Region 2 (Missoula): Placid Lake State Park had the highest visitation in the region with an estimated 84,922 visitors, an increase of 36.0 percent over the same time period last year.

Region 3 (Bozeman): Missouri Headwaters State Park had the highest visitation in the region with an estimated 58,109 visitors, an increase of 29.4 percent over the same time period last year.

Region 4 (Great Falls): Giant Springs State Park had the highest visitation in the region, with an estimated 312,655 visitors, a slight decrease of -0.2 percent over the same time period last year.

Region 5 (Billings): Cooney Reservoir State Park had the highest visitation in the region with an estimated 330,730 visits, an increase of 26.0 percent over the same time period last year.

Region 7 (Miles City): Makoshika State Park had the highest visitation in the region with an estimated 106,063 visitors, an increase of 45.4 percent over the same time period last year.

For more information on the 2020 Q3 State Park Visitation report call Kyan Bishop at (406) 444-3364. To view the complete report visit http://stateparks.mt.gov/about-us/and click on Parks Planning & Reports.

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