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.
New data sources can change the way we count outdoor recreation, allowing trail managers to better advocate for improvements and plan for growing demand.
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.
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.