Lake Norman State Park reported an increase in attendance for the 2012 season, according to statistics on the state’s parks and recreation areas recently released by the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.Lake Norman State Park, on the shores of Lake Norman between Mooresville and Troutman, saw its attendance rise from 504,429 visitors during the 2011 season to 523,443 in 2012, a 4 percent increase.Statewide, the N.C. DPR reported 2012 attendance at state parks of more than 14.255 million visitors, a slight decrease from the 14.198 million reported in 2011.Lake Norman State Park was one of 18 parks and recreation areas statewide reporting increases in attendance between 2011 and 2012, according to the report. Four parks reported having 1 million or more visitors, led by Fort Macon State Park in Carteret County with 1.24 million.“Continued record attendance demonstrates that our state parks and state recreation areas fulfill a desire of North Carolinians and their visitors for affordable family recreation and a meaningful outdoor experience,” state parks director Lewis Ledford said in a prepared release. “A direct result of this high visitation is the strong contributions that state parks make to North Carolina’s tourism economy, as well as the economies of local communities.” Boating safety classesThe Lake Norman flotilla of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will hold eight one-day boater safety classes, required to operate a powered watercraft in North Carolina.Classes have been scheduled for March 16 at Westport Marina, 7879 Water Oaks Drive, Denver; April 20, May 11 and June 15 at Shepherds Volunteer Fire Department, 2014 Charlotte Highway, Mooresville; and April 27, May 11, June 8 and July 27 at Kings Point Marina in Cornelius.All classes run from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and cost $45 per person.Successful completion of the class – which covers equipment requirements, state boating laws and safety regulations, navigation rules and other topics – will give the student a certificate and identification allowing them to operate powerboats and Jet Skis on any North Carolina lake.For information or to register, call 704-663-5733, 704-663-3333 or 828-478-2507; or visit www.cgaux.org.Boater-education classesThe Lake Norman Sail and Power Squadron has scheduled five boater-education classes for the coming year.The one-day classes are $45 per person (with an additional $25 for each family member also taking the course) and are required to obtain an N.C. boating certificate to legally operate a power boat in the state.The classes will be March 9 at Huntersville United Methodist Church, 14005 Stumptown Road, Huntersville; April 27 at the Duke Energy Environmental Center, McGuire Nuclear Station Road, Huntersville; June 1 at Denver United Methodist Church, 3910 N.C. 16 North, Denver; July 13 at Mount Zion United Methodist Church, 19600 Zion St., Cornelius; and Aug. 17 at Lake Norman Volunteer Fire Department, 1518 Brawley School Road, Mooresville.Those successfully completing the boater education course can take a free navigation seminar Sept. 14 at Mount Mourne Volunteer Fire Department, 1577 Mecklenburg Highway, Mooresville.Registration is required: www.usps.org/lakenorman, 704-895-4994 or 704-846-2865.Youth classesThe Lake Norman Ski Club is holding registration for a series of youth water skiing and wakeboarding classes. The Learn2Ski and Learn2Wakeboard classes are open to students age 15 years old or younger, and are tentatively scheduled for June and July 2013.Classes will be held in the cove at Vinnie’s Raw Bar and Restaurant on Williamson’s Road in Mooresville and will run 8-11:30 a.m.The registration fee is $20 per person, and participants must have a signed waiver-release form from a parent or guardian. Details: www.lakenormanskiclub.8m.com.Sailing sceneThe Lake Norman flotilla of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will hold a boating-safety course for sailboat operators March 2 at the Lake Norman Yacht Club clubhouse. The daylong class will run 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and costs $45 per person. Coffee and water will be provided, but participants must bring lunch and snacks. Registration required. For information or to register, call 704-663-5733 or 828-478-2507.