Tennessee sets camping record during pandemic

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Chester Frost Sunset from Laura Johnson

NASHVILLE (WDEF) – Tennesseans have set a new record for outdoor camping during the pandemic.

The Tennessee State Parks recorded 62,124 “nights camping” during October.

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That beats the all time monthly high we set just back in June.

We also had the highest camping rate ever for the month of November this year.

In fact, 4 of the busiest top 10 months ever for state parks, came this year.

June, July and October were the top 3.

Clearly, people have been getting away from home isolation in the year of Covid-19.

“The impact of COVID-19 simply underscores a growing awareness that the outdoors are a sanctuary for mental and physical health,” Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, said.

“The appeal of louder, busier, and crowded entertainment venues has given way to the space, freedom and connection the outdoors provide.”

But state officials point out the trend goes back further than the virus.

The have noted an upward trend in outdoor recreation over the last several years.