COVID-19 has created an economic downturn. Over 1,000 trail projects are waiting for funding to help put Americans back to work.
The purpose of the American Trails “Shovel-ready” Trail Project Survey, conducted between May 13th and 30th, 2020, was to document the contribution the trails community can make to the American economic response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Working with Penn State's Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management Department, the survey was conducted between May 13 and May 30, 2020. Survey respondents were recruited using a purposive snow-ball approach via the membership and email lists of American Trails, the Trails Move People Coalition, and the formal and informal networks of their members.
Trails have been an established economic driver for some time, with the outdoor recreation industry contributing over 800 billion per year to the economy. Now there are more than 1,000 trail projects in the United States waiting on funding to help put Americans to work building, maintaining, and improving our nation’s trails, and this number reflects only a fraction of the estimated need that exists in our nation.
American Trails recently completed a study through Penn State which found data for 1,028 “shovel-ready” trail projects. This means that if funding were provided they would be ready to break ground by summer 2021. Combined, these projects will provide over 83,000 months of work. Not only would these trail projects improve our nation’s trail infrastructure, and provide an essential need for many communities, but they will also help spur our economic recovery after COVID-19.
Published July 15, 2020
Whether hiking, bicycling, riding on horseback or participating in motorized recreation nearly everyone uses trails for a similar goal – to spend time outdoors. This time outside, whether a short walk down a paved trail to work in an urban setting, or a hike to a point reachable to only a few Americans makes trail users happier people.
South Dakota’s snowmobile trail system is maintained without any contribution from general fund dollars, but brings substantial economic activity into the state. This study estimates the magnitude of that economic activity and its effect on the overall state economy.
Snowmobiling provides a major recreational opportunity in Idaho given the State’s climatic conditions and mountainous terrain. In addition to the enjoyment provided by snowmobiling, it generates significant impacts in terms of employment and economic activity in many counties and for the State as a whole. In order to estimate the economic importance of snowmobiling in Idaho, the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) contracted with the Department of Economics at Boise State University (BSU) to perform this study of snowmobiling on a county by- county basis and statewide.
The Bureau of Business and Economic Research’s most recent surveys suggest that about 8 percent of the state's households include snowmobile recreationists. Nearly always, the whole family participates. With an average household size of about 2.5, perhaps as many as 100,000 Montanans participate in the sport each winter.