Appalachian Trail Hiking Motivations and Means-end Theory: Theory, Management, and Practice


  • Edwin Gómez Old Dominion University
  • Barbara Freidt Old Dominion University
  • Eddie Hill SUNY Cortland
  • Marni Goldenberg California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo
  • Laura Hill SUNY Cortland


attributes, benefits of hiking scale, consequences, hiking, means-end, values


The current study examined benefits associated with hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT) and analyzed the use of means-end theory in understanding motivations for participation in outdoor pursuits. The results may provide information critical in better programming, evaluating, promoting, and justifying funding for hiking. Data collected from AT hikers via an internet-based survey revealed a relationship existing between attributes (ATTRIB), consequences (CONSEQ) and values (VAL), thus, supporting the means-end theory constructs. Internal and external validity analyses and reliability analyses showed the Benefits of Hiking Scale (BHS) to be an accurate and consistent measure of the constructs and dimensions of means-end. No statistically significant  differences were  found among hiker types with respect to any dimension of the means-end theory (i.e., ATTRIB, CONSEQ and VAL).



Regular Papers