Research Library

The Office of Outdoor Recreation Research Library provides links to reports and research that detail the benefits and trends of outdoor recreation both nationally and for Wisconsin communities.

If you are seeking research for a specific topic not found below, please contact us by co​mp​leting a res​ea​​​rch request​. We are happy to reach out to our network of partners and to assist you the best we can.

Outdoor Recreation in Wisconsin

Updated economic data shows the growing outdoor recreation industry contributed $8.7 billion to Wisconsin's gross domestic product in 2021, and the Office of Outdoor Recreation has made strides in strengthening the industry through resources, tools, guidance and inspiration.

The first comprehensive report on the economic impact of Wisconsin’s outdoor recreation industry detailing the critical contributions of the multi-billion industry.

The Wisconsin Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plans (SCORP) evaluates outdoor recreation supply, demand, trends and issues every five years.

The Ice Age Trail Alliance (IATA) in partnership with the Fiscal and Economic Research Center (FERC) at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater analyzed and quantified the economic impact of the Ice Age Trail.

Staff and students working for the Survey Research Center at UW-River Falls were instrumental in the completion of this study. The spending of CAMBA users is estimated to have boosted the Bayfield and Sawyer County economies with a total impact of $7.8 million. 

Prepared by the Governor's Bicycle Coordinating Council to show the contributions of bicycling to Wisconsin's economy.

The American Sportfishing Association reported 1,967,500 anglers spent $1.5 billion while fishing in Wisconsin in 2018​.

An economic impact analysis of an enhanced bikeway network in La Crosse. 

The University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension Department of Urban and Regional Planning found that on average, the active silent sports enthusiasts reported spending about $468 per trip with about $260 locally within Ashland, Bayfield and Sawyer counties.

A case study of Cheese Country Trail users and their economic impact in the southwest region of Wisconsin.

The properties managed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Parks and Recreation serve as important drivers of local economic vitality within gateway communities across the state. On average, individual trip spending of visitors to these state properties ranged from almost $41 per day (State Forests) to over $90 per day (State Trails).

A report estimating the value of bicycling to tourism and health in Wisconsin and reviewing the potential to increase that value in the face of changing demographics, lifestyles and the economy prepared by the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment University of Wisconsin‐Madison.

Outdoor Recreation in the US: Economic Impacts

Outdoor Recreation in the US: Demographics & Participation

Benefits of Outdoor Recreation and Nature​