2016 Regional Parks System Visitor Study

Park visitors gender: 50 percent male, 49 percent female, 1 percent prefer not to say.Information to better understand regional parks system visitors

The Met Council, with the help of ISG, administered a questionnaire to regional park and trail visitors in the summer of 2016. Data was collected in 65 parks, park reserves, special recreation features, and 52 trails throughout the seven-county metro area.

Park visitors age: 32 percent are 18-36; 32 percent are 35-56; 18 percent are 57 or over; 19 percent prefer not to say.Study highlights

  • 5,459 regional park and trail visitors completed the questionnaire.

  • Hiking, walking, and biking are the most popular activities.

  • Visitors to regional parks and trails visit often (mean = 56 times a year).

  • Nearly all (95%) of regional park and trail visitors rated the quality, services, and recreation opportunities as either good or very good.

  • Significant differences emerged based on park or trail use and visitor demographics, and among the various regional park implementing agencies. Park visitors by education: high school grad 8 percent; some college 13 percent; associate/vocational degree 11 percent; bachelors degree 38 percent; some graduate work 6 percent; graduate degree 22 percent; 1 percent prefer not to say.

Study report

Information gleaned from the study will be used to help inform regional park and trail planning and management. Data gathered will also be used to update inputs used in funding formulas specified in state statute.