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Spiritually beneficial aspects of wilderness recreation experiencesAuthor(s): Laura Fredrickson
Source: In: Vogelsong, Hans G., comp, ed. Proceedings of the 1997 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium; 1997 April 6 - 9; Bolton Landing, NY. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-241. Radnor, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 163-168.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Northeastern Research Station
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DescriptionResearch on outdoor recreation and leisure concepts has traditionally focused on activities and corresponding behaviors. However, outdoor settings are not merely places for recreational behavior, particular settings may have the ability to produce opportunities for individuals to attain both emotional and cognitive benefits. Some of these opportunities may be considered spiritually inspirational and beneficial. Moreover, some may have the capacity to manifest into numinous or "bliss" experiences, literally transforming individuals who have had such experiences. Prior research indicates that certain landscapes have the capacity to instill in people a meaningful "sense of place", conveying a certain sense of inner peace and connectedness to the land itself. Somewhat discernible within these landscapes are the rewarding experiences that people have, and the associated benefits they realize from visiting such areas. A qualitative cross-case comparison study approach was used to explore 'place' as the source of spiritual inspiration and how it may influence the overall beneficial aspects of the recreational engagement; and in particular relates those findings back to the setting itself. Data was collected from twelve key informants through participant observation, self-report journals, and personal in-depth interviews. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of northern Minnesota and the Grand Canyon of northern Arizona were chosen as study sites and were selected based on their distinctive climatic and geographic features.
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CitationFredrickson, Laura. 1998. Spiritually beneficial aspects of wilderness recreation experiences. In: Vogelsong, Hans G., comp, ed. Proceedings of the 1997 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium; 1997 April 6 - 9; Bolton Landing, NY. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-241. Radnor, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 163-168.
- Implications of this assessment
- A qualitative exploration of the wilderness experience as a source of spiritual inspiration
- Federal outdoor recreation trends: Effects on economic opportunities
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