Hiking at Mount Nebo State Park

Hiking Study Shows Increased Trail Traffic

Online reviewer, RunRepeat, partnered with AllTrails, the largest hiking and trail-specific navigation app, to explore what effect COVID-19 has had on hiking since the pandemic started. To do this they analyzed 7,927,354 activities logged on AllTrails since January 1st, 2016.

Key Findings

According to the data, the number of hikes logged in 2020 was up 171.36% compared to 2019. It wasn’t just the same people hiking more, the number of individual hikers in 2020 was up 137.7% compared to the previous year.

General Participation Trends

2020 saw big changes in the hiking world. With gyms closed early on in the pandemic, and social distancing in order around the globe, hiking saw bumps in the number of hikes, the number of users recording hikes, and hikes per user.

The biggest change in 2020, was the sheer volume of people hitting the trails. The number of logged hikes was up 171.36% compared to 2019 (4,713,654 vs 1,737,029).

Number of Hikers per Quarter

When we compare 2020 to the previous 4 years combined (2016-2019), 2020 was still up 46.67% (4,713,654 vs 3,213,700).

Number of Recorded Hikers

Not only were more people hiking in 2020, but the pandemic-stricken year also saw an increase in hikes per user (HPU), with hikers logging 52.12% more hikes in 2020 (4.96) than between 2016-2019 (3.26) combined.

HPU was up 15.62% in 2020 compared to 2019 (4.96 vs 4.28) , and up 32.05% compared to 2018 (4.96 vs 3.75).

Lone hiker at Devil's Den State Park
(photo courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism)

Since April we’ve seen a rebound in hike time, calories burned, and elevation gain with thousands of participants recording more hikes than ever before, however, hikers are still logging less total time, burning fewer calories, and climbing less elevation than pre-pandemic.

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More hikers are logging more hikes than ever though, presuming new hikers started, and continue, to hit the trails throughout this pandemic, and these new hikers are moving faster than we’ve seen over the past few years.

More information and methodology is available at RunRepeat.