The outdoor recreation economy is large, growing faster than the overall economy, and consists of jobs in many industries. Explore data by state.
Trails & Pathways
Trails Research and Searchable Benefits Library
Updated: Headwaters Economics compiled 144 trails research studies on the impacts of trails in a single library, searchable by type of benefit, use, year, and region.
Trails Toolkit: Helping Communities Invest Wisely
Communities and local leaders can utilize this trails toolkit to better understand whether and how trails can accomplish local goals, along with the cost and benefits of proposed projects.
City Trails: Improving Equitable Access
Urban trail efforts increasingly are focusing on providing equitable access to trails. Trails and parks can create substantial benefits for public health, property values, and quality of life.
Economic Diversification and Outdoor Recreation in Bonner County
Improving economic diversification and outdoor recreation in Bonner County will bring new spending and jobs to the community.
Best Practices for Watersheds and Recreation
Best practices for balancing the needs for clean drinking water, recreation, and economic development in municipal watersheds.
Measuring Whitefish Trail Use
Outdoor recreation and the economic impact of Whitefish Trail use in Whitefish, Montana.
Estimating Trail Use
By pairing limited, local surveys with activity tracking app data, we are estimating trail use across large areas.
Benefits of a Frontage Path in Gallatin County, Montana
Updated: This report describes the benefits of a frontage path–a proposed paved, multi-use pathway connecting Belgrade and Bozeman along an approximately ten-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 10 in Gallatin County.
Trail and Pathway Use in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Explore seasonal use—including the amount, type, and timing—for 25 regional trails and pathways.
Taos Trails Are Popular But Trail Access Varies
In the Taos, New Mexico area trails are a fundamental part of health and quality of life, but differences in access to trails may limit the benefits for Hispanic and low-income residents.
Trails Are Good for All But Not Available to All
Trails are good for people, but the health and social benefits of trails are not equally available to everyone.
Trails and the Elusive Quality of Life
Many people talk about trails and quality of life, but how do we measure and obtain it?
Measuring the Benefit of Trails to Communities
Updated tools, research, and studies on the benefit of trails to communities and local citizens.
Survey Finds Trails Valued Across Bonner County
Survey provides information on Bonner County’s trail system and will help prioritize improvements based on resident usage, satisfaction, reasons for living in the area.
Trails and the Benefits to Your Community
Headwaters Economics has updated its Trails Library to include 105 studies on trails, searchable by benefit, use, year, and region.
Bonner County, Idaho’s Resilient Economy
Analysis shows that Bonner County’s economy has grown steadily and been resilient, despite recessions and losing several large employers, and many local businesses are committed to the community and its high quality of life.
Teton County Trails & Pathways Survey Shows Extensive Local Use
Survey shows that nine out of 10 respondents use the pathways and trails in Teton County, Wyoming. Such surveys help community leaders, stakeholders, and citizens plan for the future of pathways and trails systems.