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State Parks See Increase In Visitors, Sales

canoers at turkey run state park

Photo: Kelly Faboo (Flickr)

Canoers make their way along Sugar Creek in Turkey Run State Park.

More people are visiting Indiana state parks this year than in previous years.

After the harsh winter, Indiana Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Bortner says people have been heading outdoors to enjoy the beautiful summer weather.

That’s boosting state parks’ revenues.

“We are about 11 percent up over the last year. Last year at this point and time through the weekend of June 2nd, last year we were about $2.8 million,. This year we are about $3.1 million,” Bortner says.

More people are also buying state park annual passes.

State parks have brought in $1.7 million in annual passes this year, compared to $1.6 million last year.

State park officials say the improving economy is helping bring in more visitors, and Brown County State Park’s manager Doug Baird says Hoosiers are also becoming more aware of the amenities parks offer.

“We have got something that people are becoming more and more familiar with, like our mountain bike trails for example. They were established in 2004 and are getting more and more popular as more people learn about them,” he says.

State parks are also adding attractions. Brown County State Park, for example, is establishing a wild flower meadow and building more cabins for overnight stays.

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