During the pandemic’s peak, many people turned to the great outdoors to have fun and enjoy as other attractions shut down, but now that the pandemic is abating, camping remains popular.
As per a report, as the pandemic slows down, local campgrounds in Pennsylvania are finding those pandemic visitors are still making their way out and starting the season strong within the first few weeks.
“it’s been an awesome year so far,” said Janis Chapin, manager of Miller Brothers Route 285 Campground, located just outside Conneaut Lake.
“We are seeing more seasonal campers this year than weekenders.”
Chapin said that the campground saw an increase in visitors during the pandemic, especially among new campers. These same campers continue turning out, being hooked after their first trips in the last two years.
Dan Bickel, park manager of Pymatuning State Park, shared similar sentiments. Although he noted that daily park activities, such as fishing or pleasure driving, are declining, camping has stayed strong over the past few years.
During the pandemic, Bickel noted that many people purchased outdoor recreation equipment like boats or campers. It seems that individuals are still interested in using these items even as summer alternatives are now accessible.
“We’ve definitely have had repeat campers that were new to the activity in 2020, and that’s what we hope for in state parks,” he said.
Judy Palmer, owner of Crystal Springs Campground near Linesville, said that she didn’t observe any increase in attendance during the pandemic but didn’t see a slump either.
But attendance has jumped this year compared to last year, and she’s seeing many first-time campers returning again from the past few years.
“I think people are really starting to get into the camping business, and airline flights are over the top,” she said.
“It’s a lot cheaper to stay closer to home and go camping.”
Chapin also mentioned that her campground is seeing more seasonal campers rather than people just staying for a single weekend or two, which she thinks is caused by high gas prices.
This story originally appeared on New Castle News.