Communities across the United States have a variety of outdoor recreational experiences to participate in. How members of each community experience the outdoors varies based on the natural settings that can be accessed for a day trip, which are generally places within a one-hour drive. These activities are part of the identity of each community, offering shared experiences and giving local businesses the ability to provide equipment, supplies, and expertise. To better understand the types of recreation available to each community, and where there is demand to expand that access and provide economic benefits to each community, The Trust for Public Land assessed the expected recreation opportunities for over 13,000 communities throughout the U.S.

The Community Outdoor Recreation Evaluator (CORE) tool is designed to allows users to learn more about outdoor recreation from a variety of points of view. First, users can select a community and learn more about the recreational opportunities that exist within a one-hour drive. Once zoomed into their community, a number of overlay layers can be accessed showing locations for publicly accessible lands, trails, scenic rivers and byways as well as a national Recreational Experience Settings (RES) database that provides a sense of the types of experiences that can be expected out on the land.  Downloadable community reports provide statistics on the supply available to that community by overlapping publicly accessible lands with the Recreational Experience Settings database. Spending data on recreational equipment for a variety of activities are used to determine local recreational demand. The opportunity to expand access for recreation types in high demand are shown through the RES of lands currently not accessible to the public. Through these recreation reports, community members can better understand the experiences that are available to them for outdoor recreation and how they compare with other selected communities.

In addition to learning more about a specific community, the recreation information compiled for the over 13,000 communities can be used to query to find communities that meet specific conditions in relation to the recreation supply, demand and opportunities. The CORE community filtering tool can be used for a variety of purposes. For those seeking places to visit, the tool can be used to find communities that offer an abundance of specific recreational experiences. Retailers can use the tool to find where there are high levels of demand for specific recreational activities. Planners can identify the recreational experiences that have the most limited supply and search for opportunities to expand access to those areas.

We encourage everyone to explore the information available on the tool and to get outside and find their favorite places to enjoy the great outdoors!