Florida National Scenic Trail Visitor Assessment

The University of Florida’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation (SFRC) began a collaborative visitor assessment project for the Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST) with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Florida Trail Association (FTA) in June of 2003. The purpose of the study is twofold. First, researchers are striving to determine reliable use estimates of annual trail visits to 29 segments of the FNST. Second, researchers are also gathering information on who FNST visitors are in order to develop a continual understanding of why they visit the trail. Following baseline data collection from 2003-2013, the visitor counts and visitor information has continued to be gathered in order to evaluate trends in visitation numbers as well trends in visitor characteristics. This report presents the results of a visitor assessment and analysis of visitor characteristics for the period June 1, 2013 – May 31, 2014. In addition to the FNST visitor assessment, this report will also describe how FNST visitors are different than hikers to other Florida trails that are comparable to the FNST in terms of hikers’ demographic and recreation characteristics. It will also explore hikers’ perception of conflict on multiple use trails open to hikers, bicyclers, and horseback riders.

2024 National Trails Workshop Call for Proposals Open