The metro’s regional parks and trails welcomed more than 48 million visitors last year with Minneapolis parks topping the most-visited sites.
The data recently released by the Metropolitan Council shows 1.5 million or 3.3 percent more people visited the seven-county metro’s regional parks this year, up from 47.3 million last year. The number of Metropolitan Regional Parks System users has increased each year since 2008.
Minneapolis regional parks saw 16.6 million of these park users, with the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Regional Park (5.47 million visits), Mississippi Gorge Regional Park-Minneapolis/Saint Paul (2.7 million), Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park (2.3 million) and Minnehaha Regional Park among the metro’s top five most-visited sites.
Regional parks in Minneapolis and St. Paul saw a combined 53 percent of users, according to the data, a number which has been decreasing over time. The City of St. Paul’s most-visited site, Como Regional Park, had 4.3 million visitors.
The data also revealed:
- More than half of the 48.7 million visitors, or 55 percent, were local or within the parks’ system, whereas 45 percent of visitors lived elsewhere.
- Summer is by far the most active season, seeing 41 percent of regional park users in 2014.
- One of the most common draws to the metro’s regional parks are trails, which accounted for 27 percent of last year’s visits.