About the Trail

UF Visitor Assessments: 2003-2011

Researchers from the University of Florida, School of Forest Resources and Conservation began Florida National Scenic Trail visitor assessments in 2003. The goal of these assessments is to develop reliable use estimates at each study site within a given year, which can then be inferred to all FNST survey sections that are yet to be studied, forming a trail-wide estimate of use. The assessments also describe FNST users in terms of their socio-demographic and trip characteristics, as well as their level of satisfaction with their Trail experience.

Decade FNST Visitor Assessment

  • This document summarizes the past decade of visitor assessments completed by the researchers at the University of Florida School of Forest Resources and Conservation and provides key findings and themes.

2003-2004 FNST Visitor Assessment

  • Study sites include: Gulf Islands National Seashore, Eglin Air Force Base, Apalachicola National Forest, Osceola National Forest, Goldhead Branch State Park, Etoniah Creek State Forest, Little Big Econ State Forest, and Ocala National Forest

2004-2005 FNST Visitor Assessment

  • Study sites include: Pine Log State Forest, Apalachicola National Forest, St. Mark National Wildife Refuge and Rail Trail, Aucilla WMA, Suwannee: Stephen Foster State Park and Big Oak trail, Osceola National Forest, Rice Creek Conservation Area, Ocala National Forest, Seminole State Forest, and Lake Okeechobee

2005-2006 FNST Visitor Assessment

  • Study sites include: Tosohatchee State Park, Withlacoochee State Forest (includes Withlacoochee Rail Trail), Ellaville/Twin River State Forest,  Green Swamp East WMA, Green Swamp West WMA,  Blackwater River State Forest, Econfina WMA, Ocala National Forest, Osceola National Forest, and Apalachicola National Forest

2006-2007 FNST Visitor Assessment

  • Study sites include: Big Cypress National Preserve, Cross Florida Greenway, Highlands/Okeechobee, Bull Creek WMA, Three Lakes WMA, Kissimmee River WMA & Avon AFB, Ocala National Forest, Osceola National Forest, and Apalachicola National Forest

2007-2008 FNST Visitor Assessment

  • Study sites include: Apalachicola National Forest, Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center St. Park, Osceola National Forest, Goldhead Branch State Park, Etoniah St. Forest, Cross Florida Greenway, Ocala National Forest, Little Big Econ State Forest, and Big Cypress National Preserve

2008-2009 FNST Visitor Assessment

  • Study sites include: Apalachicola National Forest, Big Cypress National Preserve, Cross Florida Greenway, Ocala National Forest, Osceola National Forest, Rice Creek Conservation Area, Seminole State Forest, St. Marks NWR, and Suwannee Segment

2009-2010 FNST Visitor Assessment

  • Study sites include: Apalachicola National Forest, Big Cypress National Preserve, Cross Florida Greenway, Econfina Creek Wildlife Management District, Mills Creek Conservation Area, Ocala National Forest, Osceola National Forest, St. Marks NWR, and Suwannee Segment

2010-2011 FNST Visitor Assessment

  • Study sites include: Apalachicola National Forest, Aucilla Wildlife Management Area, Big Cypress National Preserve, Cross Florida Greenway, Ocala National Forest, Osceola National Forest, Twin Rivers State Forest, and Withlacoochee State Forest

 

Visitor Assessment Highlights by Land Manager

These documents provide highlights and summaries of findings from the University of Florida FNST visitor assessments listed above. These assessments are grouped by land management agency.

 

Additional Reports

 Marketing Opportunities for the FNST - 2007

  • The purpose of this study was to use a social marketing approach to form a foundational knowledge for future promotion strategies of the FNST. Specifically the objectives of this study were to: 1. Examine desired motivations of current FNST visitors and non visitors 2. Examine if FNST visitors and non‐visitors differed in these desired motivations 3. Examine the desired setting characteristics of a recreation site when pursuing trail opportunities 4. Examine the relationship between desired motivations and setting preferences 5. Examine current awareness and knowledge levels regarding the FNST between FNST visitors and non‐visitors.

Market Segmentation of Trail Visitors - 2008

  • The purpose of this study was to investigate the motivations and destination preferences of homogenous hiker segments at destinations (i.e. parks and forests) where the Florida Trail did not traverse. Specifically, the objectives of this study were to: 1. Form homogenous market segments based on similar motivations. 2. Explore the motivations, preferences, and characteristics of each identified market segment. 3. Explore the relationships between motivations and destination and trail set ting preference for each market segment in order to predict what types of natural area each market is most likely to visit to attain desired motivations.

Understanding place meanings in planning and managing the wildland-urban interface: The case of Florida Trail hikers

  • This study examines the influence that place meanings have on wildland-urban interface (WUI) visitors' benefits sought and preferences for landscape attributes and trail settings and suggests management implications. The study is based on data from on-site interviews with FNST hikers through WUI areas.

Florida Greenways & Trails System Plan: 2013-2017

  • This plan outlines the new vision for the Florida Greenways and Trails System (FGTS). It defines the role of the FGTS in advancing Florida's economy, tourism, health, transportation, recreation, conservation and quality of life. The Florida National Scenic Trail and its Coalition  are highlighted in support of the partnership element under the plan's Goal 4: "Link and support complementary programs, planning and partnership efforts to coordinate the FGTS."

Featured Events

Cover page of the 2005-2006 FNST visitor assessment

2005-2006 Visitor Assessment cover


Cover of the 2004-2005 FNST visitor assessment

2004-2005 FNST Visitor Assessment


Cover page of the 2010 FNST visitor assessment

2010 Visitor Assessment Cover