TrailMaster units are infrared trail monitors that record traffic estimates through motion sensors. NATL is home to three TrailMaster units located at the Academic, Cultural Plaza and Natural Area Park Entrances. These units measure NATL usage by counting the number of people passing through each of the three entrances. To most accurately estimate the number of visitors to NATL, all counts are divided by two to account for the entrance and exit of each visitor.
The Cultural Plaza Entrance TrailMaster was installed in July 2010, however initial technical difficulties (counts freezing, batteries draining quickly, clock failing, calibration issues, etc.) yielded unreliable data in the first few months. The unit now provides reliable data, with counts ranging from 1659 (in July when FLMNH classes were using NATL) to 647 (in December, when the weather turned cold and UF closed for the holiday break).
Subsequently, two additional units were installed at the Academic Entrance (June 2011) and Natural Area Park Entrance (April 2012). You can find the monthly records of TrailMaster counts and other raw data here. Below are some charts comparing entrances and visitor counts over time.
Figure 1 reflects estimated number of monthly visitors recorded by the TrailMaster units from 2012 to present.
Figure 2 summarizes all reliable information gathered by the TrailMaster units between December 2010 and April 2013. Because most NATL visitors are counted twice (as they enter and exit), all counts are divided by two in order to estimate the number of visitors NATL receives.