About Florida State Parks and Trails
Florida's 171 award-winning state park and trail properties have inspired residents and visitors with recreation opportunities and scenic beauty that helps to strengthen families, educate children, expand local economies and foster community pride. With 161 parks, 10 state trails, nearly 800,000 acres, 100 miles of beaches and more than 1,600 miles of multi-use trails attracting more than 25.5 million visitors a year, visit soon and often to enjoy Florida's natural treasures. Learn more about the system of state parks and state trails and their economic impact on Florida here. For details not listed, please contact the Florida Park Service Director's office at (850) 245-3029.
FISCAL YEAR 2013-2014(July 1 - June 30)
|Parks and Trails||171|
|Historic Sites, Archaeological Sites and Museums||30|
|Citizen Support Organizations||86|
|Miles of Sandy Beaches||100|
|Miles of Trails||2,412.63|
|Largest State Park:||Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park (77,701 acres)|
|Smallest State Park:||Fernandina Plaza Historic State Park (0.80 acres)|
|Oldest State Park:||Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park (dedicated in 1899)|
|Newest State Park:||Silver Springs State Park (partly acquired in 2013)|
|Most Visited State Park:||Honeymoon Island State Park (1,152,115 visitors)|
|Most Visited State Trail:||Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail (1,490,078 visitors)|
STATE PARK ATTENDANCE AND ECONOMIC IMPACT*
More than 27.1 million people visited state park and trail properties between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014, according to attendance figures compiled by the Department of Environmental Protection's Florida Park Service. State parks served 1.5 million more visitors in the last year than in the previous year, totaling more than 27.1 million visitors. The top 10 visited state parks and trails are:
- Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail â€“ $113.7 million direct economic impact and 1,490,078 visitors
- Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin â€“ $85.9 million in direct economic impact and 1,152,115 visitors
- Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway â€“ $74.3 million direct economic impact and 927,008 visitors
- Lovers Key State Park, Fort Myers Beach â€“ $72.6 million in direct economic impact and 974,431 visitorsÂ
- Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne â€“ $66.4 million in direct economic impact and 882,500 visitors
- John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo â€“ $65.5 million in direct economic impact and 874,179 visitors
- St. Andrews State Park, Panama City â€“ $65.8 million in direct economic impact and 870,995 visitors
- Gasparilla Island State Park, Boca Grande â€“ $64.1 million in direct economic impact and 857,884 visitors
- Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key â€“ $51.2 million in direct economic impact and 675,997 visitors
- Sebastian Inlet State Park, Melbourne Beach â€“ $48.7 million in direct economic impact and 638,966 visitors.
In 2013-2014, the Florida Park Service collected $58,190,363 in revenue from daily entrance fees, overnight accommodations and concessions. This revenue is used for park maintenance, resource protection, visitor services and staff salaries. The Florida Park Service earns 71.3 percent of its $81.6 million operating budget. These efforts support 29,396 jobs for Floridians.
*Economic impact is calculated as the amount of new dollars spent in the local economy by non-local park visitors and park operations. The Florida Park Service uses the Money Generation Model designed for and used by the National Park Service to assess economic impact in the local area around a park.
FLORIDA'S GREENWAYS AND TRAILS
The Office of Greenways & Trails within the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Recreation and Parks, provides leadership and coordination to establish and expand the Florida Greenways and Trails System. To fulfill its mission under the Florida Greenways and Trails Act (Chapter 260, F. S), the office:
- Implements the Florida Greenways and Trails System (FGTS) Plan to establish priorities and define the role of the FGTS in advancing Florida's economy, tourism, health, alternative transportation, recreation, conservation and quality of life. The office oversees the priority and opportunity maps that define the FGTS, and works in partnership with communities, agencies and organizations to close gaps in the system. The office expands the FGTS through the acquisition of eligible projects under the Greenways and Trails portion of Florida Forever, and has partnerships with nearly 30 communities that develop and manage state acquired greenways and trails on behalf of the office.
- Supports communities and projects by coordinating with and providing technical assistance regarding the acquisition, development, designation and management of greenways and trails projects that fulfill the FGTS plan and vision. The office also administers the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), a federally funded competitive grant program that provides financial assistance to local communities for the development of trails. Since inception, RTP has assisted communities in well over 40 Florida counties to establish and expand trails.
- Serves the public by disseminating information about the many benefits that greenways and trails provide to Florida residents and visitors. The office provides information to residents and visitors about greenways and trails recreational opportunities through publications, e-newsletters, FloridaGreenwaysAndTrails.com and VisitFlorida.com/trails.
Functions and responsibilities at a glance…
- Implement the Plan for the Florida Greenways and Trails System (FGTS).
- Evaluate and prioritize greenways and trails corridors in the FGTS.
- Provide statewide coordination of the FGTS through planning and community assistance.
- Facilitate and provide support to FGTS priority and opportunity projects.
- Facilitate the FGTS through representation on various boards, committees and councils.
- Serve as staff to the Florida Greenways and Trails Council.
- Administer the federal Recreational Trails Program.
- Administer the Florida Greenways and Trails Designation Program.
- Administer the Florida Greenways and Trails Acquisition Program.
- Publicize and promote greenways and trails and the FGTS.
Why the Florida Greenways and Trails System?
Trails and greenways fuel our future by…
- Attracting Tourists.
- Improving Quality of Life.
- Increasing Property Values.
- Stimulating Business Development.
- Providing Healthy Recreation.
- Providing Alternative Transportation.
- In downtown Dunedin, private business occupancy rates increased from 30% to 95% following the establishment of the Pinellas Trail, described as an "economic engine" by Bob Ironsmith, the community's economic development director.
- Three Orange County trails were estimated to support $42 million of economic impact and 516 jobs (East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, 2010).
- Trails consistently remain the number one community amenity sought by prospective homeowners (National Association of Homebuilders, 2008).
- The repeated annual economic impact of cyclists was estimated to be nine times the one-time cost to build bicycle facilities (North Carolina DOT, 2004).
- Every $1 million spent on the construction of off-street multi-use trails yields 9.6 jobs (University of Massachusetts, 2011).
- Business owners along the Great Allegheny Passage Trail in Pennsylvania and Maryland attribute 25% of revenues to their proximity to the Trail (Trail Town Economic Study, 2008).