It has been suggested anecdotally that rural people are less receptive to participating in research than other populations. Proposed reasons include culture, knowledge, attitudes, and barriers. Barriers to health care may also be barriers to research participation. A random sample of 5,000 households from a sampling frame of 45,000 property owners in a rural upstate New York county was selected. This article is a report of development of a barrier scale from the findings of 865 completed surveys. The survey in this study contained 100 questions and was adapted from a pre-existing survey of public attitudes regarding willingness to participate in medical research. Factor analysis was utilized to isolate a "barriers to participation in research" scale. Comparison of demographics and perceived barriers to participation were completed. Those who were classified as younger than the median sample age and male scored significantly lower on the barrier scale, indicating more barriers to participation in health care research. Those with the highest perception of barriers were among the least willing to participate as research subjects. The findings inform assumptions that researchers make about barriers to research, and strategies are suggested to remove such barriers. Opening the doors to inclusion of rural people in health research studies will ultimately result in improved individual and community health in rural places.