Ohioans weigh-in on outdoor recreation

Staff report

COLUMBUS — Earlier this year, Ohio residents were asked to share their experiences and opinions regarding their favorite outdoor recreation activities on public lands, such as local and state parks, nature preserves, wildlife and forestry areas and federal lands.

They were also asked specifically about their level of participation and any new or expanded facilities they would like to see in Ohio.

Feedback from the public survey helps park districts, local communities and nature preserve, wildlife and forestry managers understand outdoor recreation trends in Ohio and set priorities for funding and improvements.

Survey results include:

  • Eighty-two percent of survey respondents stated that recreational facilities are very important to the enjoyment of outdoor activities in Ohio.
  • The main reasons for engaging in outdoor recreation on public lands is for fun and entertainment; sharing time with family and friends and experiencing nature; quiet time and serenity.
  • Ohioans participating in wildlife activities favored wildlife viewing; nature photography and bird watching; with 47 percent stating they did so to experience nature, quiet time and serenity.
  • Camping responses indicated tent and pop-up campers were more popular than other types of camping vehicles with more than 46 percent responding they enjoyed camping to share time with family and friends.
  • All forms of trail activities received high responses, with nearly 51 percent of respondents stating they participated for health, wellness and fitness. The top trail-related activities are walking and hiking on various trail surfaces (natural, stone and paved).
  • Canoeing and kayaking are the most frequent boating activities.

More information on the survey and the 2018 SCORP project is available at http://parks.ohiodnr.gov/research.

Staff report