U.S. Adults Agree Local Trails Are Important, Survey Finds

(November 1, 2021)

Three in four U.S. adults agree it is important that they have access to public walking, hiking and biking trails close to home, according to a newly released National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) poll. Nearly half of all adults say access to these trails is extremely or very important.

The poll finds that residents in Western states are most likely to say it is extremely or very important to have access to public trails near their home. Additionally, millennials are among those most likely to find access to these trails important.

“In both urban and rural settings, trails are some of the most multifaceted amenities a community can have, meaning the benefits are nearly endless,” said Kevin Roth, NRPA vice president of research, evaluation and technology. “They not only provide residents with a place for recreation, exercise, connecting with nature and reducing stress, but also are a healthy and environmentally-friendly transportation option that offers equitable access to parks and other important public spaces.”

A 2019 NRPA survey finds that walking or hiking local trails ranks among the top three most popular outdoor recreation activities for U.S. adults. In March of 2020 when communities were quickly closing many public spaces in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 92 percent of park and recreation agencies worked to keep their trail networks open and provide a safe space for people to recreate, according to NRPA’s Inaugural Parks Snapshot survey.

To view the interactive charts with the survey results, click here.

To view the full-size infographic, click here.

To learn more about NRPA, visit www.nrpa.org.


About the National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is the leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to building strong, vibrant and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation. With more than 60,000 members, NRPA advances this mission by investing in and championing the work of park and recreation professionals and advocates — the catalysts for positive change in service of equity, climate-readiness, and overall health and well-being. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.