Outdoor Recreational Activities List

Woman enjoying outdoor activities in the mountains

This is the most comprehensive outdoor activities list with examples of recreational activities and hobbies for adults, teens, kids and families.  Some of the outdoor activities examples are sports activities, some are just recreational fun. I’ve included a list of the most popular outdoor activities so you can see what others do for leisure. The main aim of this list of outdoor activities is to help you discover a new adventure.

Outdoor Activities Environment Picker

Use the images below to jump to the section in the outdoor activities list with the environment for you.

Outdoor Air ActivitiesOutdoor Land ActivitiesOutdoor Water ActivitiesOutdoor Winter Activities

If you are seeking outdoor activities and ideas for team development, you’ll find my section on outdoor team building activities a quick and easy way to deliver the character building training you need.

Outdoor Recreational Activities and Hobbies for Adults

Outdoor recreational activities are ways in which you can spend your leisure time outdoors being physically active, creative, relaxing, having fun or being social.  Explore the huge range of exciting outdoor activities and some of the best adventure sports in the list below.

The most popular ideas for outdoor summer activities include:

What are the Different Types of Outdoor Activities?

To help you choose which outdoor recreational activities and hobbies suit your needs right now, I have rated them under five categories:

 Air Activities

Indoor skydiving
This list of outdoor air activities includes birds, planes, flying toys and some seriously exhilarating aerial experiences.

Land Activities

couple camping boyfriend and girlfriend
This vast list of outdoor land activities provides inspiration for fitness, downhill fun, relaxing creative hobbies, personal challenges, new skills to learn and outdoor recreational activities that will leave you with a huge smile.

Water Activities

sea kayaking along the coast

These outdoor water activities provide wet and wild inspiration in, on or under water.

Winter Activities

Three girls on a wooden sledge
A sledge is for sharing

This list of outdoor winter activities is all about being cool on the on snow and ice.  Most are adrenaline sports.

The Most Popular Outdoor Activities

Every year the Outdoor Foundation in the US and Sport England in the UK publish a list of the most popular outdoor activities.
According to the Outdoor Foundation, about half the U.S. population participated in outdoor recreation at least once in 2018, including hunting, hiking, camping, fishing, canoeing among many more outdoor activities. Unfortunately, the report highlights an alarming trend that just under half the U.S. population does not participate in outdoor recreation at all.
Family mountain biking in Les Arcs French Alps in Summer
The most popular outdoor activities are:

  1. Running, jogging and trail running;
  2. Hiking and walking for fitness;
  3. Camping and RV Camping;
  4. Road biking, mountain biking and BMX;
  5. Freshwater, saltwater and fly fishing;
  6. Golf;
  7. Wildlife watching;
  8. Netball and basketball;
  9. Tennis and Table Tennis;
  10. Soccer;

Most participants preferred to find adventure less than one mile from their homes.

The top 10 list remains fairly consistent year on year.  There are however a few variations as new sports and activities develop and become popular for a while. Follow the blog to find out new trends and more great ways to try out new activities and get active outdoors.

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