More and more Adults in the United States are beginning to discover the opportunities that are available in our National Forests and recreational National Parks.

The Forest Service and the USDA has recently completed a survey that polled a cross section of adults about their awareness and participation in outdoor activities.

According to the survey, the number of Adults that are participating in outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, trail riding and other recreational outdoor activities has grown considerably over the last couple of decades.

In the years from 2000 to 2007, the number of people that are participating in outdoor recreational activity has grown by about 4.7 percent. While not a huge number, it shows a steady growth in activity in the National Parks and recreational areas that are available to adults in the United States. The number of fitness and sports activities in our National Parks is also shown to be on the rise.

The number of times that people participate in outdoor activities and are able to enjoy natural resources has also increased.  People that participate in various outdoor nature activities at least once rose by 25 percent during the same time period, 2000 to 2007.

The national Survey focused on a cross section of Americans age 16 or older and found that interest in outdoor activities, especially ones in the national park system was on the rise across America.

The activities that were reported were also varied, as many as 20 of the 80 activities that were reported in the National Survey on Environment and Recreation were involving fitness or competitive sports.

This was a huge jump in the number of adults that go into the National Parks to engage in activities that normally are done elsewhere. A variety of sports activities, as well as fitness pursuits are being pursued by adults, that have not occurred in the National Park system in the past.

The researchers asked people about their overall outdoor activities, and what they enjoyed doing of a physical nature. Walking and attending family gathering outdoors were some of the most popular activities, followed by things such as hiking, trail riding, and jogging.

Many of the traditional “nature based” activities normally seen as part of the outdoor activities done in the National Forest Park system such as fishing, kayaking, hunting, and wildlife viewing are also on the rise.

The number of people that participate in these nature based outdoor activities rose by about 3.1 percent over the seven year time period, from 2000 to 2007.

Overall the number of people that accessed the National Parks and participated in outdoor activities has soared, from 197 million people to around 203 million people. This shows a healthy increase of outdoor activities and fitness pursuits for Adults in the United States.