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 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 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

posted Mar 16, 2018

Trail Towns: Creating Memorable Destinations for Trail Users

Enhancing communities to benefit more from trail tourism along the Great Allegheny Passage in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

  tags: magazine, tourism, bicycle

posted Mar 14, 2018

The Business of Trails: A Compilation of Economic Benefits

by Terry Eastin with Mississippi River Trail, Inc.

An analysis of studies and research on the economic benefits of trails: tourism, events, healthcare savings, and community development.

  tags: tourism, healthcare

posted Mar 13, 2018

Trail Tourism: Promotion of the Katy Trail in Missouri

The Katy Trail is a 185-mile rails-to-trails conversion of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas-Railroad (nick-named the KATY). The Missouri Department of Natural Resources was able to acquire the right-of-way after Congress passed the National Trails System Act allowing railroad corridors to be banked for future transportation use and used on an interim basis for recreational trails.

  tags: advertising, tourism, marketing

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