HEADQUARTERS, TUPELO, MS: “During June 2016, the Natchez Trace Parkway experienced an increase in the number of recreational visits over the 2015 figures,” stated Superintendent Mary Risser. “This year, 525,501 visitors used the Parkway during June 2016 compared to 516,654 who were counted in 2015. These numbers continue to put the Natchez Trace Parkway on track to be among the top 10 most visited National Park Service sites.”
|Year to Date||2,925,321||2,881,957|
“National parks are often touted as being our best idea,” stated Risser, “and our public use visitation records seem to back up that statement. Public use records date back more than a century to 1904, when the national park idea was still new. In that first year, six national parks reported their visitation for a total of 149,954 visitors. In 2015, the National Park Service (NPS) received more than 300 million recreation visits for the first time in its history. In this record-setting year, 57 NPS units set a new record for annual recreation visits, and 11 units had more than 5 million recreation visits, including the Natchez Trace Parkway.”
Two of the three states that the Parkway runs through experienced increases in visitation in 2015. Visitation to Tennessee’s NPS units grew by 3.6 percent and Alabama grew by 5.2 percent, but Mississippi’s numbers dropped 3 percent. “We speculate that this decrease in Mississippi’s numbers may be due to the sesquicentennial celebrations at Civil War sites in 2014,” stated Risser. “The Parkway’s numbers were down 1 percent in each of the three states last year.”
The Natchez Trace Parkway has numerous recreational activities to match any interest or experience level. Whether camping, motorcycling, hiking, biking, boating, fishing, or horseback riding there are countless opportunities to experience the history, culture, and natural resources of the area.
To find out more about upcoming programs and general information about the Natchez Trace Parkway, please visit our website at www.nps.gov/natr.