This survey will not only aid Trail managers and local officials in managing the existing trail and its users, but aid future planners in locating and designing trails that maximize benefits while reducing impacts.
On October 16, 2014 a total of 160 paper surveys were sent to property owners via U.S. Post. A self-stamped envelope was provided for ease of completion and to increase responsiveness. Survey responses were anonymous, again in hopes of increasing responsiveness. A total of 69 responses were collected and tabulated through December 9, 2014, for a return rate of 43%. A summary of responses is provided here for easy reference. A more detailed analysis of response follows the overview. The majority of respondents (86%) owned their property prior to the Trail being built, so they provide a good perspective of pre- and post-trail conditions.
The Ashuwillticook Rail Trail is an 11-mile paved, accessible multi-use trail located in the towns of Lanesborough, Cheshire, and Adams in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Responsibility for maintenance of the Trail resides with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The Trail’s gentle grades of 5% or less offer users of all abilities the opportunity to travel a moderately long, yet universally accessible trail – unusual in the hilly terrain of the Berkshires. The public can access the Trail from several sites located along its length. Use of the Rail Trail has increased steadily since its opening in 2001, and although it is located in central Berkshire County, it is used by residents from all across the region. Since the its opening, residents across the county have increasingly voiced a desire to have similar trails within their own communities.
Published September 2014