The best cities for outdoor enthusiasts

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    By Nick Wallace/smartasset

    Research has found that city-dwellers can benefit mentally and physically from as few as five minutes in a forest or a green space. Yet, in many urban parts of the United States, access to such areas is limited.

    Residents who want to escape the roar of traffic and the oppressive gray of concrete high-rises do not necessarily have the opportunity to do so. Experiencing the outdoors in some cities requires a long drive, an expensive proposition for families working to pay down their mortgage or credit card bills.

    Not all cities are equal in this regard. Some maintain green spaces within city limits in the form of public parks, wildlife refuges and nature preserves. For those who love the outdoors, these cities present an opportunity to have it both ways: to live in an urban area while enjoying fresh air, greenery and an active lifestyle.

    To find the best cities for outdoor enthusiasts, SmartAsset gathered data reflective of the access to green spaces and the quality of the natural environment in America's largest 100 cities. We wanted to find places where it is easy to spend lots of time in the outdoors.

    To that end, SmartAsset looked at metrics including parkland acreage, air quality and the percentage of commuters in each city who walk or bike to work.

    Click ahead for a look at the top 10 cities for outdoor enthusiasts.

    Click here to read more about the methodology.