RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina’s state parks and recreation areas attracted a record number of visitors last year — nearly 23 million of them.

The state Department of Natural and Cultural Resources said Tuesday that the 22.8 million people who visited the 41 sites in 2021 beat the previous record set in 2020 by 3 million.

DNCR says 10 state parks had at least 1 million visitors apiece in 2021, up from seven the year before.

“North Carolinians in 2021 showed us how much they value state parks and trails to enhance their physical and mental health,” DNCR Secretary Reid Wilson said.

More than two-thirds of the parks drew more visitors last year than in 2020, led by an increase of 1.8 million at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Dare County. Six parks had 30 percent increases, led by Carvers Creek (46 percent) in Spring Lake.