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Record attendance at state parks during pandemic

Posted at 5:35 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 17:35:48-04

Maryland has a great state park system, from the Appalachian Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean, there is something for everyone. Kayaking, canoeing, camping, hunting, fishing, rock climbing, horseback riding and the list goes on and on.

When you have the options of mountains to oceans and everything in between, you’re in demand, especially this year.

Like many states, our parks are bursting at the seams. The pandemic kept people out of the office, movie theaters, restaurants and into the home, so what happened next? We all went outside.

Ray Fetterern is well acquainted with the state parks.

"In the last 20 years, we’ve traveled to pretty much all of them," he said.

During the pandemic, Ray has noticed something different at the state parks, a lot more people!

"I think they started doing it because they were looking to do and once they started camping and going outdoors, they found out they actually liked it," he said.

One of the main problems this year was the large crowds and lack of responsible visitors to pick up their trash.

The parks were so full this year that in the last ten years, some parks closed because of over congestion 79 times. This year, parks have been closed 260 so far this year.

Many state parks were so popular that some local officials are looking into new protocols to handle the excess use.