State Park Visitation

Performance Area: Outdoor Recreation

Number of visitors at state parks and recreation areas

Why Is This Important?

Minnesota state parks and trails connect people to the outdoors, serve as a gateway to quality outdoor experiences, and form a vital part of the state’s tourism base. The number of visitors and overnight guests at state parks and recreation areas indicate the success of efforts to attract more visitors.

What Is DNR Doing?

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The DNR uses market research to understand barriers to and motivations for participating in outdoor recreation. Guided by 2007 research, we modified some products and increased advertising and media efforts. For instance, we initiated the “I Can Camp!” program with partners to introduce families to camping. A partnership with the Minnesota Twins, “Break a Bat, Plant a Tree”, leveraged nearly $300,000 in promotion benefits for a DNR investment of around $40,000. A cooperative agreement with Minnesota Public Radio resulted in the sale of almost 5,000 annual permits and an estimated $130,000 in promotional value.

The DNR monitors many indicators of state park and trail use and effectiveness of outreach, including participants reached through online and social media efforts and participants in state park and trail interpretive and skill-building programs.

Target: Increase number of visits to state parks and recreation areas 2% annually.