More than 90 percent of visitors think that Florida’s award-winning state parks and trails are special places offering great opportunities to explore, relax and connect with nature.

In a survey of park users conducted by the Florida State Parks Foundation, there was almost unanimous agreement (96%), that state parks provide vast natural spaces to connect with and explore nature and opportunities for exercise.

They also agreed that state parks offer an environment in which to relax and de-stress and provide a great setting for spending quality time with family and friends.

“It is not only very encouraging to know that our state parks are so popular with our visitors, whether Floridians or people from out of state, but also why,” said Foundation President Gil Ziffer.

“In these difficult times, it is also reassuring to realize that so many people recognize our state parks as ideal places to go to relax and unwind,” he said.

More than 66% of those surveyed said they specifically go to state parks to relax. The most popular park activity was camping (76%), followed by birding, and exploring wildlife (both 37%), picnicking and swimming (both 34%), fishing (33%), canoeing and kayaking (27%), and horseback riding (4%).

The Foundation, founded in 1993 as Friends of Florida State Parks and renamed in 2018, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose mission is to support and help sustain the Florida Park Service, its 175 award-winning parks and trails, local Friends groups and more than 20,000 park volunteers.  

It does this through programs that preserve and protect state parks, educate visitors about the value of state parks, encourage community engagement and active use of state parks, and advocacy.

The volunteer Board of Directors represents private and public sectors as well as local and statewide interests.

About the Author: Foundation Staff