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Utah Travel Headlines

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Visitation Up At Utah State Parks

Goosencks of the San Juan State Park - photo by Dave Webb 
Utah's state parks are popular playgrounds for locals, but most are off the radar for tourists. That's unfortunate because they offer outstanding opportunities for recreation, sightseeing, wildlife viewing and educational activities.

At the risk of seeming smug, I dare say some of Utah's state parks would be national parks, were they located in any other state. But here, where there is so much much natural beauty, they are often overlooked.

State Park officials continue to proactively promote these areas. They recently released this innovative Digital Field Guide Brochure, which provides great info about each park.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this good article by Brett Prettyman describing how park visitation is showing strong growth. He talks about interesting programs that are popular some lesser-known parks. Below are excerpts.

The state agency reported a 5.78 percent jump in visitation from 2011 to 2012 with more than 5 million visits last year, up from 4.8 million the previous year.

parks dominated visitation in 2012, but Hays said he is impressed with the growth in smaller "community-type" parks and even museums.

The Territorial Statehouse State Park Museum in Fillmore is a good example. The park has experienced phenomenal growth the past two years: 156 percent from 2010 to 2011 and an additional 28 percent last year.

The camps take participants back to the 1860s. Campers build cabins using "giant Lincoln Logs" and learn things like rope- and candle-making, weaving, quilting and cooking using a woodstove.

– Dave Webb

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