Virginia State Parks set a record for attendance last year. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation says attendance was 6 percent higher than the year before, which was also a record. The department manages 36 award-winning parks; combined they set a record of 8.87 million visitors in 2013. Park administrators say the direct and indirect economic impact last year was $206 million– a 4 percent increase. For local economies, Virginia state parks generate more than $12 for every dollar of general fund money. However, one local park saw the number of visitors declined. According to park manager at Smith Mountain Lake State Park, the weather played a significant role in the 100,000 fewer visitors to the Bedford County location. To learn more about the state’s park system visit: