Want to explore a national park but aren’t sure what to do? Ease in by trying one of the five gateway activities - running, bicycling, hiking, camping, or fishing. These gateway activities are ways to stay healthy and enjoy nature at a steady pace.
We use the term “gateway” because studies have proven that individuals that incorporate these activities into their childhood will continue to engage in them in their adulthood.
Did you know? The top 3 reasons that people want to get outside are:
Be with family and friends.
Keep physically fit.
Who can benefit from gateway activities in our parks?
People of all ages and abilities can benefit from parks. This is especially true for populations who use parks infrequently including:
- low-income populations
- people with disabilities
Other priority populations who can benefit include:
- active military and veterans
The National Park Service has identified gateway activities as a Healthy Parks Healthy People promising practice. Healthy Parks Healthy People promising practices are science-informed programs and policies in parks that can help people lead happier, healthier, more productive lives.