People visiting national parks this year, survey finds

The Old Courthouse and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis
The Old Courthouse and the Gateway Arch, part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, as seen on Sept. 6, 2015. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

( — More than three in four Americans (79 percent) are planning to visit a national park in the next year, according to a new AAA survey.

The findings come as the U.S. National Park Service’s 100th anniversary is Aug. 25.

“The demand for national parks is off the charts this year, and it’s exciting to see that Americans are poised to take even more national park vacations in the years to come,” Bryan Shilling, managing director of AAA Travel Products and Services, said in a news release. “In times of global uncertainty, many people are turning to domestic vacations and the wide variety of national parks offer something for every traveler to discover.”

The number of visitors to national parks reached an all-time high in 2015, with more than 307 million visitors, according to the National Park Service. Eighty-five percent of Americans have visited at least one national park, and a majority (73 percent) say the national parks are a “must-see” vacation destination.

Sightseers’ Delight
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Sightseers’ Delight started publishing in June 2016. The site, published by The DeFeo Groupe, collects and curates content about places where historical events large and small happened. The site builds off the legacy of The Travel Trolley, which launched in June 2009. The site aimed to be a virtual version of the trolley tours offered in so many cities.