Delaware State Parks Officials See Rise In Visitors

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    According to Delaware Public, there have been a record number of campers attending Delaware State Parks for the past three years.

    Back in 2010, nearly 40 million people went on a total of 515 million camping trips, and the Public says that Delaware State Park campground visitation has risen almost 40% in the past two years.

    DSP Director Ray Bivens cites cabins and cottages as the most popular lodging option.

    “When it comes to our cabins and cottages we see more overnight visitors than 17 other states,” said Bivens. “We’re literally only 130 nights behind Colorado. But we beat much bigger states like Montana and Maine.”

    Also increasing in popularity are RV campsites, which Bivens attributes to the $6 million in improvements among the state’s parks throughout the past few years.

    About 37% of families say that vacations make them happy, making it the activity that makes families most happy. Still, it can be difficult for some families to camp without access to water and electricity. Luckily, the upgrades include adding water and electrical hookups for RVs at both Lums Pond and Cape Henlopen State Park. Killens Pond and Trap Pond received improvements to their restrooms and electrical hookups as well.

    “A lot of [the campsites] were designed and built in the 1970’s. So they weren’t really accepting of modern RV’s that are longer and are taller,” said Bivens.

    Around 49% of campers say that spending more time with family and friends is the reason why they camp, and in 2017 alone, Delaware’s state parks have seen the number of reservations increase to 5,500.

    Surprisingly, though, Bivens says that the months growing in popularity are not summer months, but February, March, October, and November.

    “Something I find very intriguing was that the bulk of our growth in camping has not been in the summer season,” Bivens said.

    Ultimately, the improvements to the parks seem to be paying off already, and the Delaware tourism industry is flourishing. The one negative consequence is the speed at which the campsites are filling up — 65% of the sites at Delaware’s state beach parks are booked all the way through Labor Day.