The Landscape Encountered and Experienced While Hiking

R. Bruce Hull, William P. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An operational definition is developed for the landscape encountered and experienced while hiking a natural area. Participant photography and experience sampling methods were combined and modified to enable sampling and exploration of this landscape. At various times during a hike, people were interrupted and instructed to photograph what they were looking at, to rate the scenic beauty of the view in question, and to report their current satisfactions and moods. Views were categorized by the type of object that was the focus of attention (trail, vegetation, water, ephemeral, people, terrain) and by the distance of the object from the viewer. Results suggest that attention was focused most frequently on objects near the trail, within 15 meters; neither scenic nor ugly views attracted undue attention; ephemeral features were often the focus of attention and rated as scenic; the quality of the hiking experience (as represented by mood and satisfaction) was partially explained by the landscape views encountered; and more similarities than differences were found in what people viewed while hiking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)404-426
Number of pages23
JournalEnvironment and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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