The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate models of travel flow from population centers throughout the United States to outdoor recreational areas in Kentucky. Data were obtained by means of a license-plate, origin-destination survey at 160 sites within 42 recreational areas and by means of a continuous vehicle counting program at eight of these sites. Attempts to simulate distributed travel flows concentrated on various single-equation models, a cross-classification model, and gravity and intervening opportunities models. The cross-classification model was found to be an acceptable means for simulating and predicting outdoor recreational travel flows and was decidedly superior to the other models. From the cross-classification model, per capita distributed flows were found to (1) decrease at a decreasing rate with increasing population of the origin zone, (2) increase at a variable rate with increasing attraction of tbe recreational area, and (3) decrease at a decreasing rate with increasing distance. The intervening opportunities model was found to be unacceptable as a distribution model since it could not effectively accommodate the widely differing sizes of the 42 recreational areas. The gravity model, on the other hand, was quite effective in distributing actual productions and attractions. Problems associated with tbe gravity model were limited to difficulties in accurately estimating trip productions and attractions in the trip generation phase of analysis.

Report Date


Report Number

No. 354

Digital Object Identifier



Offered for publication to the Highway Research Board.