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POPULAR NATIONAL PARKS

How many Americans actually visit their national parks?

Twenty-nine million, or 15 percent of all U.S. adults, did so in the year leading up to this summer's travel season, according to a travel industry poll that also showed mountain state residents are most likely to commune with nature that way.

The survey showed 37 percent of the Mountain region residents -- those from Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming -- included a park visit while traveling 100 miles or more from home.

In the Mid-Atlantic region, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, only 12 percent said they visited a national park -- one of the lowest visitation figures in the country, equal to New England and higher only than the West North Central region. That includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and the Dakotas; those residents stopped at a park only 9 percent of the time.

The poll was conducted in June by the Travel Industry Association of America, a nonprofit group that promotes travel to and within the United States.

According to the same poll, the activities that park visitors took part in were hiking (53 percent); camping (33 percent); fishing (19 percent); rafting (10 percent); bicycling (9 percent); and canoeing (8 percent).