filed under: conservation


Recreation Ecology Literature Review

Hiking, mountain biking and equestrian use in natural areas

Recreation ecology is the scientific study of environmental impacts resulting from recreational activity in protected natural areas. The nature of a literature review is to summarize what has been studied, what has been learned, and what the experts have concluded.

by Metro Regional Government


Metro Recreation Ecology Literature Review


Recreation ecology is the scientific study of environmental impacts resulting from recreational activity in protected natural areas. The nature of a literature review is to summarize what has been studied, what has been learned, and what the experts have concluded. This document reviews the literature on overall and relative effects of three user groups – hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians – on trails, habitat, and wildlife to help inform ecologically appropriate placement and construction of trails in natural areas. Studies are reviewed from the U.S. and elsewhere, with a focus on soft-surface trails in natural areas. We included limited information about other nonmotorized trail user groups such as trail runners and beach walkers. Motorized off-road vehicles were omitted from this review because they are generally not allowed on natural area trails within the urban and near-urban region. A previous literature review on the effects of dogs on wildlife and water quality is included as Appendix 1.

Published September 2017

About the Author


Whether your roots in the region run generations deep or you moved to Oregon last week, you have your own reasons for loving this place – and Metro wants to keep it that way. Help shape the future of the greater Portland region and discover tools, services and places that make life better today.

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