Despite its diversity, all outdoor recreation has one thing in common. By definition, outdoor recreation depends in some way on natural environments. The natural setting might be a pristine wilderness area, a pond in your backyard, or a carefully designed and modified urban park or greenway. It can occur days from the nearest road or in a tiny park in the heart of downtown. Outdoor recreation includes activities such as hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, kayaking, biking, rock climbing, restoration and conservation volunteering, etc. It is believed that nearly 50% of all Americans participate in at least one outdoor activity annually. Taking part in recreational activities, especially outdoors, can greatly improve physical and mental health. Enjoying the great outdoors also promotes the health and well-being of the natural environment itself. Proper use of our public lands creates concern and awareness for keeping them protected. It is also a vital part of the economy on both the local and national level by contributing billions of dollars. Most importantly, outdoor recreation improves quality of life. It’s clear that simply getting outside has a direct correlation on making one happier and healthier. Why wait? Nothing can bring you to your senses like being in the beautiful outdoors. Get outside and play in Cherokee County!