ND Parks and RecNorth Dakota’s 13 state parks have hit record camping numbers during the coronavirus pandemic, according to KNOX.

The state’s Parks and Recreation Department reported a 35% increase in campsite nights from May 1-Oct. 31 compared to the same period in 2019. Camping boomed exponentially in September and October over 2019.

Annual park pass sales were up 18% this year from 2019. Parks and Recreation Director Andrea Travnicek says people want to take advantage of the open spaces during the pandemic.

Typically, the camping season in North Dakota is from May through August; however, this season, the largest increase in camping numbers was seen during September and October. September had a 173% increase, and October had a 339% increase in camping numbers from the 2019 season.

The Department believes the great weather played a part in the increased numbers this fall in addition to the safe, outside environment. This season the department also saw an increase in-state visitors. Visitation from out-of-state campers dropped by 5%.

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