||The objective of this paper is to present a systematic overview on methods used for visitor monitoring in recreational areas. Emphasis is given on quantitative methods such as direct observation, video observation, counting devices and registration books. The various approaches are discussed with regard to practical, legal and organisational aspects, such as costs, maintenance requirements, dependence on infrastructure (e.g. electricity), risk of vandalism or suitability for remote and ecologically sensitive locations. For the design of a visitor monitoring scheme in a specific recreational area it is necessary to determine the best combination of devices and methods, depending on the objectives of the monitoring program. This relates also to the temporal resolution of monitoring activities (permanent, periodic, selective). In areas where the recreational use is largely depending on external factors such as weather, daytime and season, the representativity of a sampling scheme becomes crucial for the statistic validity of the obtained data. As visitor monitoring can also be regarded as an interference with the privacy of the persons being monitored, ethic aspects of the application of the various methods must also be addressed.