Access to trails and outdoor recreation is an important part of local economies, attracting businesses and drawing in new residents and visitors. Our research analyzes the scope and scale of the outdoor recreation economy and how communities can benefit from trails.
The Trails Benefits Library is a collection of studies on the positive impacts of trails on businesses, public health, and quality of life. Use this form to search by type of benefit, use, year, and region.
The outdoor recreation economy contributes $7.8 billion, or 2.4% to Wisconsin’s GDP and generates more than 93,000 jobs across diverse sectors.
Recreation dependence, population growth from new residents, and income inequality are strongly associated with less affordable housing in non-metro counties.
The outdoor recreation economy is large, growing faster than the overall economy, and consists of jobs in many industries. Explore data by state.
Recreation counties, especially in non-metro places, draw new residents and have higher incomes and faster earnings growth than places without recreation.
This interactive and background materials show visits, spending, and the number of jobs created in gateway communities for every National Park Service unit.