The Outdoor Foundation’s research investigates the depth and effect of Americans participation in active outdoor recreation. This section includes our groundbreaking participation studies and Outdoor Nation Special Reports.
In 2016, nearly half of all Americans — 48.6% — reported participating in at least one outdoor activity. That equates to 144 million participants, who went on a total of 11 billion outdoor outings. The participation rate and number of participants slightly increased, while the number of total outings decreased. The decline in outings was a result of the decline in core participation. In other words, in 2016, Americans participated in outdoor activities, such as traditional and non-traditional triathlons, mountain and road biking, boardsailing and others, less often than they did the year before.
The Outdoor Foundation’s Outdoor Recreation Participation Report is the only detailed study of its kind tracking American participation trends in outdoor recreation. The study is based on an online survey capturing responses from over 20,000 Americans ages six and older and covers 114 different activities.
The Outdoor Foundation produces individual outdoor activity reports to track participation in particular recreational activities, like camping and fishing. Reports provide a comprehensive look at overall trends in participation as well as detailed information and analysis on motivations, barriers and preferences of key groups.