Boston Globe highlights NPF President and CEO Will Shafroth’s insights in its feature, "How to plan a national park visit in 2021.” Read an excerpt from the article below.
“Visitation to national park and public lands exploded last summer and fall, as people clamored to get away safely, and spend time outdoors. Yellowstone National Park had its busiest September on record, with a 21 percent increase from the previous September. Great Smoky Mountains National Park — already the country’s most-visited national park — logged more than 1.5 million visits in August, a nearly 10 percent jump from the same month in 2019.
All indications point to even greater numbers of visitors at national parks across the country in 2021.
‘I think the pull of our national parks across the country — big and small, urban and rural — will remain strong,’ says Will Shafroth, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. ‘Be it for physical health, quiet reflection, emotional restoration, or human connection, parks make our lives better, richer, and more complete.’
Ask yourself what type of experience you’re looking for and what activities are most interesting, determine how much time you will spend at the park, and be open to options.
‘There is likely a lesser-known, less-crowded park closer to home than you might realize, including many parks in and around cities,’ says Shafroth.
The National Park website features a list of all parks, and you can narrow your search by state, activity, or topic (www.nps.gov/findapark/advanced-search.htm). The Find Your Park website is also a good tool and includes a quiz to find out what parks are best for you (www.findyourpark.com/park-finder).”