07 March 2016

Minnesota state parks expanding and thriving

This is what taxes are for - so governments can do things that individuals cannot do.
Across the nation, fewer people are enjoying the great outdoors. But Minnesota is swimming against that current, with more people using the state’s parks and trails. Visits were up nearly 20 percent overall last year — more people bought daily and year-round permits, and more stayed overnight to camp...

The state system, which predates the national system, includes 75 state parks and more than 600 miles of paved trails. Over the past 60 years, the annual number of visitors has increased from about 1 million to more than 8 million. And in 2015, nearly half a million people bought daily and annual permits. DNR officials point to the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment — which provides funding for parks and trails through a statewide sales tax — as the reason behind the recent rise in visitor numbers. Since the amendment passed in 2008, sales of daily and annual parks permits have risen by nearly 150,000.


  1. Northeast Ohio also cannot build trails fast enough, it's completely "build it and they are already coming". People start (illegally) enjoying new trails before they are even officially opened!

  2. I'd think two factors besides the government spending would be 2015 being the warmest year ever, and fewer of the minorities that drag down the national average for park attendance.

    1. The numbers are compared to previous numbers for the same state, so the race of residents is not a factor in the trend. And I doubt weather, since MN parks are used extensively in the winter. I would point to economic trends that cause people to vacation near to home rather than travel far, and to camp in the parks rather than rent a cabin or motel room.


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