Minnesota's Network of Parks and Trails

The Center for Changing Landscapes was directed by the Minnesota State Legislature to create a long-range framework for an integrated statewide parks and trails system that provides information on the natural resource-based recreational opportunities available throughout the state. The detailed framework must include an inventory of existing regionally and statewide significant parks and trails, respond to recreational trends and demographic changes, and identify underserved areas, overused facilities, and gaps in the current parks and trails system (Minn. Gen. Laws 64.8 § 6).

Below you will find the two reports (framework and summary inventory), and supporting documents including county maps, trends summary, and regional sociodemographic profiles (all are in .pdf format).

Minnesota's Network of Parks & Trails: Framework

Cover photo of publicationThe framework provides information that can guide decisions for acquiring and developing parks and trails. It suggests ways to link resources to meet the needs of a growing and diversifying populace and create a synergistic statewide network.

(click image to download the entire document - 52mb) OR download in sections:

Minnesota's Network of Parks & Trails: Summary Inventory

Cover photo of publicationThe inventory is a snapshot of the status of natural resource-based parks and trails in Minnesota, intended to be a useful tool to help citizens, local, regional, and state officials make decisions about establishing and developing parks and trails.

(click image to download the entire document - 52mb) OR download in sections:

County Maps and Regional Profiles

February 10, 2011: The regional profiles by Mae Davenport and Ingrid Schneider have been finalized and are available for review. These reports provide detailed information on recreation trends, and outline recreation experience opportunities in all regions of Minnesota.

January 15, 2011: The county maps listed below have been updated as of January 15, 2011.

Please hit *refresh* each time you visit this site to ensure you see the most recently posted information.

Aitkin Fillmore Martin Rock
Anoka Freeborn McLeod Roseau
Becker Goodhue Meeker Scott
Beltrami Grant Mille Lacs Sherburne
Benton Hennepin Morrison Sibley
Big Stone Houston Mower St. Louis - North
Blue Earth Hubbard Murray St. Louis - South
Brown Isanti Nicollet Stearns
Carlton Itasca Nobles Steele
Carver Jackson Norman Stevens
Cass Kannabec Olmsted Swift
Chippewa Kandiyohi Otter Tail Todd
Chisago Kittson Pennington Traverse
Clay Koochiching Pine Wabasha
Clearwater Lac qui Parle Pipestone Wadena
Cook Lake Polk Waseca
Cottonwood Lake of the Woods Pope Washington
Crow Wing Le Sueur Ramsey Watonwan
Dakota Lincoln Red Lake Wilkin
Dodge Lyon Redwood Winona
Douglas Mahnomen Renville Wright
Faribault Marshall Rice Yellow Medicine

*All maps are .pdf and formatted to print at 11x17 size. Please contact us if you require a different size.

Earlier Updates:

July 26, 2010 - View a draft of Minnesota trends (both demographic and recreation related) (,pdf). Please contact Mae Davenport and Ingrid Schneider with questions or comments.

July 9, 2010 - all 87 county maps are posted for review! If you notice we are lacking some information do get in touch via email. Because of the scale of the map, some small natural-resource based parks will not show up on these maps.

Draft regional profiles by Mae Davenport and Ingrid Schneider provide detailed information on recreation trends, and outline recreation experience opportunities in all regions of Minnesota. Please review the following documents and provide your feedback to Mae and Ingrid.

Additional Information

Minnesota Parks and Trails Legacy Plan
From their website: In 2008, Minnesotans passed the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Act. 14.25% of the funds generated from the 3/8% increase in the sales tax will provide funding for regional and state parks and trails.

The Legislature requested that a plan be developed to provide guidance for how these funds should be spent, as well as other traditional sources of funding for state and regional parks and trails. The Department of Natural Resources was charged with leading the planning effort in collaboration with other park and trail providers, non governmental organizations, and citizens. The plan includes goals and measurable outcomes and a vision for Minnesotans of what the regional and state parks and trails will look like in 25 years.