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NC parks tie record for number of visits

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- State officials say visitation to North Carolina's state parks and recreation areas tied a record level last year, with more than 14 million visits.

The state Division of Parks and Recreation says that matches the record set in 2009. Among 39 state parks and state recreation areas, 15 reported increases in attendance in 2011. Jockey's Ridge State Park in Dare County reported the highest attendance at 1.3 million visits, down slightly from last year.

New amenities attracted visitors to some parks. For example, a 700-foot swim beach and picnic area at Lake James State Park opened for its first full season, and the park experienced a 70 percent jump in visitation.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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