Hiking Is Now The Most Popular Outdoor Adventure Activity

Adventure travelers are looking for more than just thrills.

According to a report by the Adventure Travel Trade Association, hiking is now the most popular activity amongst adventure travelers, beating out the more traditionally thrilling activities like kayaking and mountain climbing.

The study, “North American Adventure Travelers: Seeking Personal Growth, New Destinations and Immersive Culture,” was based on a survey last year of 8,000 Outside magazine subscribers, Travel Weekly reported.

The study was a follow-up to a similar report done in 2006 that showed adventure travelers sought out strenuous and thrilling activities like rock and mountain climbing, rafting, trekking, sea and whitewater kayaking, and canoeing — in that order.

In the 2016 study, however, the top activities were:

  1. Hiking
  2. Backpacking
  3. Trekking
  4. Sea and whitewater kayaking and rafting

Participants said the most important components of an adventure experience were being in a natural environment, learning, meaningful human experiences, and experiencing a new culture.

The study noted that travelers are putting more emphasis on personal transformation while they travel, so it’s no wonder that hiking — often considered transformative and featured in popular books and movies like “Wild” — is a new favorite.

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