It's been quite the year for visitor traffic at Waterton Lakes National Park, with visits up around 17% over the time in 2016.
It's been a record year for visitors to Waterton Lakes National Park. Visitor Experience Manager, Locke Marshall says the wildfire earlier this fall hasn't hurt visitors numbers at all. He says between January and the end of August, visits to the local National Park were up 17% over the same period in 2016 and notes last year had been the previous record year for Waterton visitors. He says visits to Waterton have been growing steadily the past 8 years and in the last five years those increases have been very strong. Marshall anticipates the positive visitation trends will continue. As for visits since the wildfire in September, Waterton Communications Officer, John Stoesser tells our radio station it's been brisk every since the park re-opened at the end of September and October was a very busy month. He says the Thanksgiving weekend this year was busier for visitors than the same weekend in 2016. Stoesser notes it's clear people want to come see for themselves what Waterton Park looks like following the wildfire. He says even though many places in Waterton are still closed off since the massive blaze, people are still coming. - Pat Siedlecki