Economic Impact Report

​​Produced by Headwaters Economics, a leading independent, bipartisan and nonprofit research firm, this comprehensive report details the critical contributions of the outdoor economy to Wisconsin. From tourism to manufacturing to retailers and outfitters – outdoor recreation is a job-supporting industry driving economic impact for the state.​

Key Findings​

  • $7.8 billion contributed to the state’s gross domestic product
  • 93,000 jobs across diverse sectors supported
  • $3.9 billion in compensation provided to Wisconsinites
  • ​Wisconsin is a national powerhouse in outdoor recreation manufacturing 

Other Highlights

  • 17 million visits annually to the Wisconsin State Park System drive more than $1 billion in spending per year. (In 2020, park visits increased by over 20% to 21 million.)
  • Driftless Wisconsin’s Kickapoo Water Trail attracts 16,000 paddler visits per year that generate $1.2 million.
  • The 47-mile Cheese Country Trail – an ATV/UTV trail in southwest Wisconsin – attracts 98,000 visits that create more than $15 million in spending in the area.
  • Silent sports enthusiasts spend about $14.7 million per year in Ashland, Bayfield, and Sawyer counties.