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Contact: Ann Childress, (828) 271 4779 ext 241
Information is now available from recent visitor studies conducted by the National Park Service along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Visitor Study Report describes the results of two surveys, one conducted in the fall of 2007 and a second survey during early summer 2008. Nearly 2,700 survey documents were distributed along the length of the 469-mile scenic motor road. Of those, 2,253 questionnaires were returned, resulting in a 74 percent response rate.
The report profiles a systematic random sample of Blue Ridge Parkway visitors with most of the results presented in graphs and frequency tables. Summaries of visitor comments are included in the report and
complete comments are included in an appendix. Park Superintendent Phil Francis stated, “This information is highly valuable in adjusting park programs and services to meet visitor needs as well as park planning for the future. In addition, we believe the many communities and businesses located near the Parkway will find this information extremely useful.” The report is more than 200 pages in length and may be viewed or downloaded at www.psu.uidaho.edu/vsp.reports.htm
The Blue Ridge Parkway was designed in the 1930s as a scenic motor road connecting the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains national parks. With more than 16 million visitors annually, it is the most visited unit in the National Park Service and contains numerous overlooks, campgrounds, visitor centers, exhibits, lakes, and hiking trails which provide visitors with many opportunities to explore and learn about the park’s diverse natural and cultural resources.