Will it be another banner year for boating and camping?

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Spring officially begins at 4:37 a.m. CDT Saturday, and though it has been a little chilly the last few days, warmer temperatures are just around the corner.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was a banner year for outdoor activities like boating and camping.

So what’s in store this year?

Josh Landrum, a Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency Boating Officer says he expects another big year for boating, but maybe slightly less activity than last year.

“We expect boat traffic to still be busy this year, maybe not as much because of the pandemic going down and people going back to work,” explained Landrum. “But we do expect it to be a fairly busy year this year.”

But there was a downside to the increase in boat traffic last year.

“Last year statewide we had 176 reported boating accidents that were resulted in 32 fatalities, unfortunately,” Landrum said. “Again, that is in direct correlation to there just being greater boat traffic out here. Those boat accidents, a lot of them were happening during the week, which was kind of abnormal for us to see because usually people come out on the weekends during a typical year. But last year, with everybody staying home, they were getting out there during the week and we were seeing a lot of accidents on our waterways during the week.”

Landrum says the biggest thing you can do to have a safe day on the water is to wear your life jacket.

As far as camping is concerned, Chip Hillis with Cumberland Mountain State Park in Crossville says he’s already seeing another banner year in the making.

“We’re already seeing record numbers for the month of January and February, as far as the reservations are being made,” explained Hillis. “At Cumberland Mountain, we have five camping areas. Out of those five camping areas, we have 145 campsites. Normally this time of year we would only have to have one camping area open, but due to demand this year we’ve already had to open up another camping area which is about three weeks early. So we are already seeing a huge influx in the demand for camping.”

If you would like to make a camping reservation at a Tennessee State Park, click here.

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