JEFFERSON CITY — New figures show attendance at Missouri state parks rose by roughly a quarter-million people last year.
The Department of Natural Resources said the parks logged more than 18 million visitors in 2012 — the fourth straight year with increased attendance.
Missouri has 80 state parks and historic sites. The annual visitor numbers are generated from reported monthly attendance at 67 of those parks.
Lake of the Ozarks State Park had the most visitors last year, with 2.2 million people.
The parks have significant economic impact for the state. A study done for the Department of Natural Resources shows visitors to state parks spent $778 million in 2011.