Visits to state parks on the rise
ST. PAUL — Visits to Minnesota state parks are up, and the Department of Natural Resources is crediting efforts to connect more people to the outdoors.
The DNR says it put a high priority on marketing and outreach after a 2007 survey and focus groups provided new insights into why fewer young families were using state parks and trails.
Now it says overnight stays and permit sales have increased significantly for two consecutive years.
Overnight stays topped 985,000 in 2010, up from 863,000 in 2008. Sales of one-day permits rose from 211,000 in 2008 to over 238,000 in 2010. Year-round permits rose from more than 106,000 in 2008 to over 121,000 in 2010.
Estimated total visits, based on car counts, were 9.5 million in 2010, up from 8.3 million in 2008.