Connecting to Nature: Outdoor Recreation Preferences and Constraints of Older Adults in the Intermountain West, United States


  • Rebecca Rasch USDA Forest Servuce



outdoor recreation, motorized recreation, connecting to nature, older adults, recreation management, public land management


Drawing on household survey data collected in 2018 and 2019, this research identifies key barriers to older adults’ involvement in outdoor recreation, and also highlights management actions that are most likely to bolster and/or impact their participation. With such information, managers can better understand outdoor recreation preferences of older adults and also craft effective strategies to facilitate participation. Survey data illustrated that older adults were most likely to benefit from walking trails and increased law enforcement presence. In addition, males and those in the highest income bracket were most likely to benefit from increase in motorized trail recreational opportunities (e.g., for all-terrain vehicles), not older adults. The research findings provide federal recreation professionals and newly formed state outdoor recreation offices with useful guidance on how to meet the outdoor recreation needs of older adults in the Intermountain West, United States. Subscribe to JPRA





Research Notes