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11/09/2017

Outdoor Recreation Research in Ohio Available

OTA Participates in Development of Research Study and Priorities

It's no secret that outdoor recreation continues to grow, and that travelers increasingly report hiking, biking, paddling, fishing, hunting, camping and other outdoor pursuits as their reason to travel. Every corner of our state is blessed with places to experience the outdoors. But how do we know which activity is 'hot' right now, and how do we enhance these experiences to meet traveler demands?

Every five years, ODNR develops a Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) to set recreation strategies and priorities. OTA serves on the advisory committee, along with representatives from ODNR, park districts, Wayne National Forest, National Park Service and other groups. Prior to developing this plan, a statewide survey is conducted to get a feel for what outdoor recreation are most popular, expenditures, needed improvements, and more. This year, the survey was conducted by the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University.

Trail use is the most popular activity, with more than 97% of Ohioans using trails. Other popular activities are wildlife viewing, scenic drives, picnicking, touring historic sites and farms, biking, outdoor festivals, concerts, birding, nature photography and night sky viewing.

Touring historic sites and farms, backcountry camping, splash pads, horseback riding, disc golf, mountain biking, kite flying, equestrian camping, rock climbing, and paddleboarding are among those where participation increased since 2013.     

Take a look at the full survey here. This week, we attended an advisory meeting to review these results, as well as the findings of regional focus groups. We are currently setting priorities based on these trends, as well as what Ohioans told us are important, such as new trails, maintenance of existing park facilities and environmental protection. 

After reading through the survey results and thinking about your own needs, please let us know below if you have thoughts or ideas you would like us to communicate. Thank you! 

 

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