Crescent Beach State Park in Cape Elizabeth was one of the most-visited state parks in 2021 – with 150,294 visitors – during a year when state parks again shattered attendance records. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

For the second straight year, Maine state parks attracted a record numbers of visitors in 2021.

Through November, Maine’s 42 state parks and historic sites had more than 3.2 million visitors, according to an email from Jim Britt, spokesman for the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands. That compares to an attendance of 3.1 million visitors for all of 2020 – the previous annual record.

At the end of the camping season this year, the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry reported that state park campgrounds set an attendance record in 2021 with 315,000 campers – up 12 percent from 2020.

Parks and historic sites that saw huge jumps in attendance this year were Birch Point Beach State Park in Owls Head with a 149 percent increase in visitors; Eagle Island State Historic Site off the coast of Harpswell, with a 155 percent increase; and Owls Head State Park with a 202 percent increase, according to Britt.

The usual favorites again topped the list of parks with the most visitors, including Camden Hills State Park with 180,835, Popham Beach State Park with 185,669, Sebago Lake State Park with 189,959, and Reid State Park with 183,224.

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