Another resource on economic benefits of trails is “Implementing Trail-Based Economic Development Programs: A Handbook for Iowa Communities:” Communities that succeed at promoting community and economic development through trail recreation may approach the process from many angles, but all began with clear visions of how they wanted the trail system to help their communities. The national experience suggests keeping these principles in mind to guide the planning process:

1. Understand Community Capacity and Desires
2. Identify Target Markets Based on Trail Characteristics
3. Determine Community’s Relationship to the Trail System
4. Choose Trailhead Sites Based on Desired User Markets and Impacts
5. Locate Trailheads Within Town Boundaries to Concentrate Economic Impacts
6. Build Off Existing Markets
7. Cultivate Partnerships


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