Based on surveys of National Forest visitors, backpackers, car campers, and downhill and cross-country skiers are the most likely groups to come from out of town and spend at least one night. Less than a quarter of ATV trips are nonlocal and overnight, and spending per trip is lower than for other recreationists -- about $162, including $43 for gas. By way of comparison, downhill skiers spend $342, cross-country skiers $335, and hikers and bikers $246.
These spending patterns matter because quiet recreation enthusiasts tend to avoid places that are meccas for motorized uses. In an Outdoor Industry Foundation survey, Vermont ranked second among all states in percentage of the economy related to nonmechanized outdoor recreation (12 percent). Only 19 percent of Vermonters participate in off-road driving of all kinds, compared to 91 percent walking, 72 percent photographing scenery, 63 percent swimming outdoors, 48 percent bicycling, 46 percent day hiking, and 45 percent visiting a wilderness or primitive area.