Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
There were more people visiting and staying overnight in provincial parks in Nova Scotia this year than ever before.
The 20 camping parks in the provincial system logged a total of 91,262 overnight stays, representing a 13 per cent increase over the shorter camping season in 2020.
"People wanted to get out and re-discover our provincial parks," said Sandra Fraser, parks promotion and development officer for the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources/Renewables.
According to the department, 86 per cent of campers came from within the province and 13 per cent travelled in from elsewhere in Canada.
In Queens County, there is just one provincial overnight park, Thomas Raddall. That park saw a 14 per cent increase in overnight visitors from last year. In 2021, there were 8,359 overnight visitors, up from 7,358 last year. This number was the tenth best amongst all of the provincial campgrounds.
"It is a beautiful park with several beaches contained within it," said Fraser. "It's becoming more popular all the time. It has a really great private campsite and good trails there for cycling and walking."
The park has 69 unserviced campsites and 13 walk-in campsites, along with a group campsite available for use each year, although the group campsite was not open this year.
In Lunenburg County, Rissers Beach and Graves Island finished first and second in the province in overnight stays this year.
Rissers Beach saw a record of 10,148 overnight visitors in 2021, an increase of 24 per cent, or 8,160 visitors, in 2020.
Graves Island finished the camping season with 8,359 overnight stays, up from 7,358 stays or 14 per cent from last year.
Starting June 2, the camping season was delayed this year by 11 days from the anticipated opening date of May 21. The camping season for provincial parks closed Oct. 18.