Kansas state park reports increase in visitor traffic

KSN Digital Extra

BUTLER COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas state parks are seeing an increase in visitor traffic this year.

“Instead of going out of state, they stayed here,” said El Dorado State Park Manager, Seth Turner. “They were using Kansas State Parks.” 

Officials say this year more people have visited state parks than in the past two years.

” I think I was pleasantly surprised at what we’ve seen,” said Turner.

More than 767,000 people visited state parks last year. So far this year, nearly 1.3 million visitors have spent time at Kansas state parks.

“The Crowds that we’ve seen — particularly here in El Dorado– are local. They’re people out of Sedgwick County. They’re people out of Butler County, Greenwood County, Marion County, it’s all around us,” said Turner.

Last year many of these parks were closed because of flooding.  Now, Turner says El Dorado Park is averaging around 60 thousand people a weekend.  

“Which is normally what we would see on a memorial day weekend,” said Turner.

State park officials say it’s not just an increase in visitors.  Fishing license sales have more than doubled.  In May 2019, a total of 26,317 fishing licenses were issued. This year, 53,012 licenses were issued.

“Mom, dad and the kids, they are all walking. They are all on the trails. They are all fishing together,” said Turner.

Turner anticipates visitor traffic to surpass the last two years for this 4th of July. 

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