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The total number of visits to national parks in 2020? Some 237 million national park visits. Yes, that is down, and a considerable amount, some 28%. Much of that can be attributed to park closures and park restrictions brought about by the earth-engulfing pandemic.
But as people were sent home from schools and workplaces, for some, home became an unwelcome prison, rather than a haven. National park visits became a furlough for many. Some of the nation’s park units actually saw record numbers of visitors, even though they were closed part of the year. In total, 66 of the system’s 423 parks were shut down for two months or more. Others, featuring plenty of open air, stayed open.
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