In June 2020 the Parks and Trails Legacy Partners embarked on a two-year research project to count visitors to the three system’s parks and trails. Coordination Among Partners funds have paid for this research project for the benefit of all. A data scientist was hired and is housed at the Metropolitan Council offices, working with support of their research team.
The scope of the project is to conduct a statewide analysis of parks and trails visitation, which for Greater Minnesota includes not only designated parks, but parks ranked “eligible for designation” as well.
The data used for the research has come from StreetLight Data, Inc., a company that aggregates vast amounts of anonymized data gathered from cell phones to algorithmically transform the inputs into contextualized, aggregated and normalized travel patterns. In plain speaking, they can deliver insight into how vehicles, bikes, pedestrians and transit passengers move on virtually every road and in every Census Block. This information provides the data scientists with ways to count visitors to our system parks and trails. Information that in many parks and trails in Greater Minnesota, we simply do not have.
While the date shows as May 13, 2022, the information has been updated as StreetLight Data has advanced with a recent algorithm update. Please know that the system park information study is complete, but trail research is still underway and will be released in the first quarter of 2023.
We invite you to review the report, check park visitation for your park or against other parks in the Greater Minnesota system or our partner agencies; Metropolitan Council Regional Parks and DNR State Parks.
The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission coordinated a survey of three mountain bike systems in Greater Minnesota during the summer of 2021. The Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota was hired to conduct a visitor intercept survey and trail user counts at the Cook County Mountain Bike Trails, Duluth Traverse, and Detroit Mountain Recreation Area.
In this report you will find detailed information about the user counts and the visitor profiles for each system. The report begins with a trail county summary that provides a starting point to understand the unique differences and the similarities of the average daily traffic.
If you have questions or comments, please contact Renee Mattson, Executive Director at email@example.com, or Joe Czapiewski, System Plan Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2021 Mountain Bike System Survey Cover Letter
2021 Trail Count Summary
Duluth Topline Report
Duluth Traverse Visitor Profile 2021
Cook County Topline Report
Cook County Visitor Profile 2021
Detroit Mountain Topline Report
Detroit Mountain Visitor Profile 2021
The Minnesota State Trail User Count is an ongoing project of the Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota (P&TC), a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to acquiring, protecting and enhancing critical land for the public's use and benefit.
The data in this report was collected during 2017 on five state trails: the Gateway State Trail and Brown's Creek State Trail in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, the Paul Bunyan State Trail between Brainerd and Walker, and the Root River State Trail and Harmony-Preston State Trail in southeast Minnesota.
Read the full report here.
trail counting opportunity
Do you have a trail in need of data on how it’s used?
If so, the Parks & Trails Council (P&TC) is interested in partnering with you. P&TC has been conducting trail counts since 2015 and is looking to help cities and counties in Greater Minnesota better understand how their trails are used. P&TC will provide a trail counting plan, counting equipment, and a trail usage report summarizing the season's data. This is a great opportunity for cities and counties that want data on their trails but don't have the resources or expertise to collect it themselves.
Anyone interested in partnering with P&TC during 2019 should start by filling out this online survey. Please complete the survey by Tuesday, May 14. Applicants will be notified by May 17.
Please know that P&TC will likely be able to select only one or two projects for 2019, but hopes to expand their services in future years to partner with additional cities and counties across Minnesota.
For more information, please visit www.parksandtrails.org and search "Research & Reports" or contact P&TC Research and Policy Manager Andrew Oftedal at 651-726-2457.
An Assessment of the Impacts of Geocaching on Natural Resources in Minnesota State Parks
This report summarizes the results of a study conducted by MN DNR - Division of Parks & Trails in 2011 to assess defined impacts on natural resources caused by geocaching in MN state parks.
This report summarizes the results, overall themes and implications for community needs based on a series of outreach and research efforts conducted by the Minneapolis Park and
Recreation Board with assistance from and analysis by Brauer & Associates and Schoenbauer
Consulting. The report summarizes the findings from the following community outreach tools:
• City-wide questionnaire
• Community leader workshops
• Focus groups
• Town meetings
• Pilot town meetings (staff)
The primary objective of the survey was to gain a better understanding of the law enforcement and public safety issues associated with non-motorized trails. The survey was conducted in an effort to provide trail planners, law enforcement officers, community leaders, and citizens a more complete understanding of the extent to which unlawful activity occurs and the conflicts most common to trails. Results of the survey are intended to be used to inform the public process associated with trail planning and design.
In this document are the results of the non-economic component of the 2012 MN DNR research. Topics include visitor demographic characteristics, trip characteristics, in-park experience, and preferences for potential park management changes.
The Outdoor Foundation® has produced the Outdoor Recreation Participation Topline Report to provide a snapshot of American participation in outdoor activities with a focus on youth and young adults. The report is based on an online survey of nearly 11,000 Americans ages six and older.
Based on research conducted in 2007, MN DNR created a series of programs designed to attract new users, specifically families with children. A study was conducted to assess the satisfaction of visitors who participate in a variety of programs and special events as well as the success of these programs and special events at attracting new users above and beyond the typical level that visit parks and trails without programs and special events.
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