Public Lands

New Hampshire Outdoor Industry Inventory

New Hampshire Office of Outdoor Recreation
View of the mountains

New Hampshire offers residents and visitors a near unparalleled range of outdoor recreation opportunities, from rugged high peak hiking to seacoast fishing, off-road vehicle trails, and ski resorts, creating a robust business landscape that supports these activities. According to the US Bureau of Economic Affairs, the outdoor industry in New Hampshire is directly responsible for over 30,000 jobs, $1.5 billion in wages and salaries, and a total economic contribution of $3.3 billion to the State’s economy. The effect that outdoor recreation has on the state’s economy and quality of life is undeniable.

In 2019, New Hampshire became the 16th state to establish an outdoor recreation office. The new Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry Development (ORID) —which is housed within the state’s Department of Business and Economic Affairs (BEA) — was established to support New Hampshire’s diverse outdoor economy and connect New Hampshire’s world class outdoor assets to broad economic development strategies. To establish a strategic foundation for ORID’s work, ORID contracted SE Group to define, quantify, and evaluate the outdoor recreation industry in the state. This dynamic process brought together stakeholders, regions, businesses, and recreation enthusiasts to develop a deeper understanding of the state’s outdoor industry in order to plan and create a better future of outdoor recreation in New Hampshire. SE Group’s team of planners and analysts developed a comprehensive database of all outdoor recreation businesses in the state, conducted dozens of stakeholder engagement focus groups and calls, and mapped outdoor recreation infrastructure and assets.

The final report provides extensive background on the state’s outdoor industry landscape and breaks down the industry’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The report also dives deep into select outdoor recreation activities to illustrate activity participation, geographic availability, involved organizations, and key takeaways that were found through focus groups, surveys, and data collection from public and private sources. 

The creation of the New Hampshire Outdoor Recreation Industry Development Office, along with the outdoor industry analysis done by SE Group, will give the state the tools they need to continue to grow their outdoor recreation opportunities and strengthen their outdoor industry economy.

To view the final document, click here!

Interactive map for NH Outdoor Industry Inventory
Austin Novak

Along with the final report, SE Group team did extensive research to properly inventory different outdoor recreation activities throughout the state and translated that data into an internal mapping platform. The map platform allows ORID and BEA staff to toggle between different activities or regions to show how different sectors of the outdoor recreation economy are present in different regions of the state. The map also includes data on trails and other recreational facilities across the state. 

“Outdoor recreation is an undeniable economic driver for the North Country and the Mount Washington Valley. The mountains, trails, and rivers can speak for themselves. It’s a lifestyle and what so many are drawn to – the quality of life. The Mount Washington Valley is an area where you work-live-play-stay.” 

- Michelle Cruz, Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce