Which had more visits in 2016? Kennesaw Mountain or the White House?

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Which had more visits in 2016? Kennesaw Mountain or the White House?

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Maybe Kennesaw Mountain had so many visitors coming to see the leaves change color, as seen here in a still from a video by the AJC’s Ryon Horne.

Well, which?

We’re talking about the spot where 4,000 troops died during the Civil War versus the place athletes come to visit when they’ve won a championship.

Here’s the numbers: The White House had 611,207 visits in 2016 compared to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park’s 2,360,256 visits.

Yep. You read that right.

Kennesaw Mountain had nearly quadruple the number of visits compared to the place where the figurehead of democracy rests their head.

We know, it’s hard to believe.

But Jeremy Barnum, a federal parks spokesman, assured The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the numbers were legit.

When laying out this fun water-cooler-chat fodder, you should give it some context:

  • We’re talking visits, not visitors. So if one person came to Kennesaw 10 times, that counts as 10 visits.
  • Remember, you have to request a tour of the White House through your Congressional representative. Shoot, you don’t even have to call your mother to come to Kennesaw.
  • Tours are first-come, first-served at the White House from Tuesdays to Saturdays. It isn’t that exclusive in Cobb’s park where you can some seven days a week.
  • Requests can be submitted up to three months in advance but no less than 21 days ahead of a White House visit.

“Because there are tours only with a ticket, it’s not like Kennesaw Mountain were anyone can drive up any time to visit,” Barnum said.

Barnum also noted that there are two different parks in the area: There’s the White House itself and then you have President’s Park, which is the area surrounding the president’s home.

President’s Park includes Lafayette Park and the Ellipse — a grassy path filled with statues and the National Christmas Tree.

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park (AJC file photo)

So that 611,207 number from earlier refers to people who actually went inside the White House during 2016. The Parks Service counted 989,424 people in 2016 who came to President’s Park.

Still, Kennesaw Mountain is crushing the game. 

In fact, Kennesaw was the 44th-most-visited federal park in 2016, according to federal parks service data.

Kennesaw’s whopper of a number is an eight percent increase compared to 2015. It could have something to do with the hype of 2016 being the National Park Service’s centennial.

About 2,121 volunteers donated more than 38,166 hours of service at the Kennesaw park, according to the NPS.

In January, Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, re-introduced a bill to inlcude more historic Civil War structures into Kennesaw Mountain park by expanding the boundary eight acres. That bill is now in a House committee.

Kennesaw park superintendent Nancy Walther said she was excited so many folks came to Cobb’s park.

About 22 miles of trails snaking through rich Civil War history abutting 39 HOAs makes for a special combination folks love.

“We’re a backyard park,” she said.

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park 

900 Kennesaw Mountain Drive

Kennesaw, Ga., 30188

Check out this video of the 150th anniversary Battle of Kennesaw Mountain commemoration:

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