There are two primary objectives of the study: 1) to examine characteristics of recreational trips as they can be identified through quantitative analysis of available data on recreational travel, and 2) to analyze changes in recreational traffic patterns as they occur over time and to draw conclusions as to the significance of different factors influencing the distribution of recreational trips. The characteristics pertain mainly to the temporal and spatial distribution of recreational trips and to the purpose of recreational trips. Analysis of the second objective should provide insight into the functional relationships of influencing factors and the distribution of trips as well as the stability over time of these relationships.
The data base used to fulfill the two objectives was derived from an existing volume of data collected; only those of significance to weekend recreational trips have been used. Special attention is given to overnight camping trips in the State of Washington and in Southern California.
The need to characterize recreational trips, to define trip purposes, and to determine functional relationships between influencing factors and recreational traffic patterns is well recognized among transportation and recreation planners. The ability to quantitatively relate causes and effects and thereby eventually to predict policy impacts on recreational traffic patterns is a valuable analytical instrument in public and private policy decision-making.