Special Report

The Most Popular Recreation Areas in the US

Source: 4nadia / iStock via Getty Images

8. Lake Roosevelt, Washington
> Recreation visits in 2020: 1,519,403
> Share of visits in all national recreation areas in 2020: 3.15%

The Lake Roosevelt recreation area includes the 130-mile long Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake in the eastern part of Washington state. The vast reservoir, which is the largest recreation destination in the park, is popular with boaters. Hiking and camping are also popular outdoor activities.

Source: Courtesy of Lake Meredith National Recreation Area

7. Lake Meredith, Texas
> Recreation visits in 2020: 1,612,784
> Share of visits in all national recreation areas in 2020: 3.34%

The Lake Meredith recreation area is often described as the hidden oasis in the dry plains of the Texas Panhandle. The area is best known for its wildlife and migratory birds. Boating — whether by private boat or a rental — is among the most popular recreational activities in the park. Many of the campgrounds are near water.

Source: Mlenny / E+ via Getty Images

6. Glen Canyon, Utah and Arizona
> Recreation visits in 2020: 2,553,392
> Share of visits in all national recreation areas in 2020: 5.30%

The Glen Canyon recreation area spans over more than 1.2 million acres, stretching from Lees Ferry in Arizona to the Orange Cliffs in Utah. Lake Powell, the second largest human-made lake in the country, is part of the Glen Canyon, making the recreation area one of the most popular boating destinations in the U.S.

Source: CurtisC Photoography / iStock via Getty Images

5. Chattahoochee River, Georgia
> Recreation visits in 2020: 3,066,877
> Share of visits in all national recreation areas in 2020: 6.36%

The Chattahoochee River recreation area protects several sites between Atlanta and Lake Sidney Lanier along the 48-mile Chattahoochee River. Rafting and fishing are popular activities in the recreation area. More than 20 species of fish live in the river.

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4. Delaware Water Gap, New Jersey and Pennsylvania
> Recreation visits in 2020: 4,068,529
> Share of visits in all national recreation areas in 2020: 8.44%

The Delaware Water Gap recreation area is part of a stretch of the Delaware River along the border between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The 1,000-foot deep Water Gap is a major attraction for visitors. Rafting, fishing, and hiking are also popular outdoor activities in the recreation area, which consists of more than 70,000 acres.

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