The Blue Ridge Parkway saw close to 16 million visitations in 2021. Officials say some areas of the park are feeling the impact of overcrowding. 

The National Park Service says that the Parkway continues to rank as one of the most popular sites in the country. 

Statistics provided by Parkway officials show that there were 15.9 million recreation visits in 2021, a 13 percent increase from the previous year.

Numbers are also up when it comes to tent and RV camping.

While overall Parkway visitation has remained relatively stable over the past decade, overcrowding at some of the more popular spots has officials concerned.

Parkway superintendent Tracy Swartout says in a news release that congestion can hamper the visitor experience and damage park resources.

Swartout urges “recreating responsibly” by learning about park resources and trail etiquette. She says that with over 400 miles to explore, visitors can find plenty of options to enjoy the experience.

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