The United States fills out much of the North American continent, giving Americans who enjoy the outdoors ample and varied opportunities to enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities.
On the three coasts of the United States, on the Great Lakes, on countless rivers and lakes, boating is a major American pastime, as is water skiing. The Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and especially the Pacific island state of Hawaii, support the sport of surfing. On mountain rivers, east and west, white-water rafting attracts enthusiasts.
Mountains and extensive forest areas throughout the country see hiking, camping, backpacking, hunting, fishing, back-country skiing, mountain biking, and a host of other activities.
The term “sportsman,” by the way, refers to someone interested in hunting and fishing rather than a general sports enthusiast or athlete. In many parts of the country, rifle and pistol shooting at target ranges is a popular sport.
Another growing field of activity includes such dangerous “extreme” sports as hang gliding, parachute jumping, sky diving, downhill mountain biking, and bungee jumping (jumping from heights while attached to an elasticized rope).
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