Blue Ridge Parkway takes top spot with over 14 million visitors in 2020

It was one of only three National Park Service sites that had more than 10 million visitors

(WSLS 10)

ROANOKE, Va. – Nearly 14 million people took the opportunity to hop in their cars and take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway in 2020.

The National Park Services estimates that 14,099,485 visitors went to the park in 2020, making it one of only three National Park Service sites with more than 10 million visits in 2020.

Rounding out the top three are the Golden Gate National Recreation Area with 12,400,045 visitors and Great Smokey Mountains National Park with 12,095,720 visitors.

While the Parkway experienced an overall 6% decrease in visitors compared to 2019, there was a slight 2% increase when comparing visitation numbers from September to December 2020 to numbers that same four-month window in 2019.

“The 2020 visitation reminds us that the Parkway’s 1930s design approach, to maximize scenic views and recreational access, continues to be relevant today for those looking for respite and renewal,” said Blue Ridge Parkway Acting Superintendent Alexa Viets. “Our commitment to providing these experiences, while protecting the health of those who work and visit the parkway, continues as we plan for the 2021 visitor season.”

While the road is open year-round, click here for the latest road closures so your trip doesn’t take an unplanned detour.

About the Author:

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.