The Most Popular Recreation Areas in the US

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13. Whiskeytown, California
> Recreation visits in 2020: 805,295
> Share of visits in all national recreation areas in 2020: 1.67%

Whiskeytown is a recreation area consisting of about 42,000 acres featuring rugged mountains and crystal clear lake water. Camping is one of the most popular activities in the park, which has different types of camping sites, ranging from primitive to RV.

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12. Ross Lake, Washington
> Recreation visits in 2020: 920,526
> Share of visits in all national recreation areas in 2020: 1.91%

The Ross Lake area is the most accessible of the North Cascades, which are home to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. The recreation area is mostly for hiking and camping. Surrounded by mountains, most of the outdoor recreation opportunities are along the Skagit River.

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11. Curecanti, Colorado
> Recreation visits in 2020: 921,584
> Share of visits in all national recreation areas in 2020: 1.91%

The Curecanti recreation area contains three reservoirs along the Gunnison River, making Curecanti the go-to place for deep-water fishing in the Rocky Mountains. Camping is also a popular activity. The area contains at least 10 developed campgrounds with multiple camping sites each.

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10. Chickasaw, Oklahoma
> Recreation visits in 2020: 1,348,122
> Share of visits in all national recreation areas in 2020: 2.80%

Chickasaw recreation area, which is one of only three parks in Oklahoma the NPS regulates, is in the foothills of the Arbuckle Mountains in the southern part of the state. Fishing is very popular in the park. The Platt National Park, which was originally called the Sulphur Springs Reservation, is now part of the Chickasaw recreation area.

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9. Amistad, Texas
> Recreation visits in 2020: 1,424,139
> Share of visits in all national recreation areas in 2020: 2.95%

The Amistad National Recreation Area includes the U.S. area of the Amistad Reservoir, also known as Lake Amistad, along the border of the U.S. and Mexico. The recreation area is a popular destination for water-based activities as well as camping and hiking. Prehistoric Native American paintings can be found throughout the area.