Hiking is arguable one of America’s greats pastimes. This is due to the availability of trails and the ease of access that comes along with them. It also seems like a fairly simple hobby, as simple as putting your first foot forward and starting your journey.
The availability of a wide range of trails means that there are varying levels of difficulty, as well as experiencing the different sides of mother nature and how it all comes together to form part of our beautiful world.
Whatever the reason may be for taking up the hobby, it seems to stick because it’s more popular than ever.
Let’s take a look at some of the facts and statistics related to hiking in the USA.
9 interesting hiking facts
- The National Trails System: Since its establishment in 1965, the distance covered by these trails from a federal point of view has increased from 88,000 miles to an impressive 193,500 miles. From a state point of view, it’s increased from 15,000 miles to 42,500 miles.
- Day hiking: In 2013 it was reported that the number of hikers went up from 30 million in 2006 to 35 million.
- Backpacking: This figure has increased from 7 million in 2006 to 9 million in 2013.
- Maintenance and management: The bulk of this cost and effort is done by volunteers. In 2012, 1.2 volunteer hours were tracked for the Forest Service, equating to $26 million. The National Scenic and Historic Trails received more than 1 million volunteer hours in 2014 which equated to $24 million. In 2014, National Trials Day provided the opportunity for over 21,800 volunteers participated in over 400 projects related to the cause.
- Industry growth: Despite a sluggish start, a 5 percent growth per annum was experienced by the outdoor recreation industry between 2005 and 2011.
- Consumer spending: The economic activity that has been encouraged due to outdoor recreation is an impressive $1.6 trillion and provides approximately 12 million job opportunities.
- Real estate: When it came to buying homes in 2008, prospective buyers opted to look for a home close to hiking trails, outranking shopping centres, golf courses, and even security.
- Appalachian Trail: This national trail spans from Georgie to Maine and runs for an estimated 2,200 miles. It’s estimated that this park receives approximately 2 million visitors a year.
- The future: Research has found that by 2060, day hiking is going to grow in popularity and be one of the fastest-growing activities in the world.
Hiking is a great hobby for a wide range of reasons that include low start-up costs so you won’t need to use your gaming bonuses online, and readily available trails for you to explore and take on. Before heading out on a hike, be sure to research the trail to get an idea of what lies ahead. If the predictions are true, hiking will become incredibly popular very soon and result in much-needed industry changes.