Benefits of Trails

Trails have many benefits of health and economic basis. Here are studies and articles on the benefits of trails.

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posted Jun 20, 2019

Counting Trail Users

by Matt Ainsley with Eco-Counter, Inc.

Until recently, user count data was collected manually through an annual volunteer effort. In 2017, however, a program in Pennsylvania took their count program to the next level by rolling out 17 automated Eco-Counters in all four corners of the state.

  tags: trail counter, capacity, multi-use, counting, overcrowding, trail overcrowding

posted May 1, 2019

Greater Des Moines Water Trails Economic Impact Study

Greater Des Moines Water Trails will annually pour tens of millions of dollars into the regional economy, a new analysis shows.


posted May 1, 2019

Case Studies of Water Trail Impacts on Rural Communities

by Lindsy Johnson, MCRP

Water trail development causes economic and social and impacts on rural communities. Chronicles of water trail communities convey values influencing the sustainability of paddle trail projects. Water trails are not a panacea for rural development, however, water trail development can help achieve goals of economic diversification and improved quality of life in communities. Paddle trails are an effective approach to rural economic development and recreational access while enhancing natural and cultural qualities of a community.


posted May 1, 2019

An Economic Argument for Water Trails

by River Management Society

This report is a summary of findings from existing studies, which provide examples of the economic impact of water trails in their respective communities. It is meant to provide a helpful resource to communities interested in learning about the economic benefit water trails have provided for cities and towns in the US.


posted Mar 22, 2019

National Recreation Trails to Visit This Spring

by Taylor Goodrich with American Trails

Spring is in the air, and it is the perfect time to explore nature and view wildlife on our nation’s National Recreation Trails. Wildflowers are starting to bloom, birds are out in abundance, the weather is getting warmer, and these NRTs are some of the best trails out there to experience it all.

  tags: nrt

posted Nov 20, 2018

Trail Towns - Leveraging Trails for Community and Economic Development

Take an in depth look at Trail Towns through programs in Kentucky and Michigan. Learn how community partners work to implement economic development, recreation and quality of life planning through Trail Towns.


posted Sep 12, 2018

Trails and Towns Together

Efforts to link “trail-to-town” have played a part in remaking communities. This webinar will include a case study of the first known “trail town” initiative - the Trail Town Program® along the Great Allegheny Passage.


posted Aug 13, 2018

Constructing bicycle trails in conjunction with Interstate Highway construction projects

by American Trails Staff

Examples of bike trails and bike paths that have been built by state departments of transportation

  tags: shared-use, bicycle, urban, funding

posted Jul 23, 2018

Trails Community: Summerlin in Las Vegas, Nevada

by American Trails Staff

Summerlin is one of three communities from across the nation selected to serve as fitting models for excellence in trails within a private development.

  tags: urban, economic, health, land, partnerships

posted May 3, 2018

The Suwannee River Wilderness Trail

Conceived as an ecotourism destination, the trail enables exploration of the area by canoe or kayak, while providing an economic boost to surrounding rural communities.

  tags: greenway, wildlife, habitat, canoe/kayak

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