Visitation Up On Parkway

Despite the 16-day federal shutdown that closed many sights along the Blue Ridge Parkway, officials say traffic along the scenic drive increased slightly in October from the same month a year ago. The 469-mile road remained open during the shutdown, but sites along the parkway were forced to close, while several campgrounds and visitors centers never opened at all this year after the federal sequester forced 5 percent budget cuts for all federal agencies. A recruitment effort for new volunteers is underway to help with a backlog of nearly $500 million in deferred maintenance projects along the parkway.

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