You could not tell by the record breaking crowds at Governors Island this summer, but attendance is down this year at the National Parks. High gas prices and a stronger dollar in relation to the euro seem to be the main culprits. I imagine this overall drop does not include the Civil War battlefields, where attendance has increased in recent years and is skyrocketing now that the sesquicentennial is in full swing. When I volunteered in the Interpretation Division at Ellis Island a sizable portion of our visitors came from Europe. This afternoon the Hayfoot and I are having lunch in Little India with one of the Ellis rangers. I have not seen him in several months and am curious to know if he saw an attendance drop off over the summer.
Fall is a great time to visit your parks.