filed under: economics of trails


Can I Sell You a Trail?

A TRAILSNextâ„¢ presentation

Develop tools and techniques for truly hearing and properly responding to opposition when developing a trail.

by Gregory Kern, Transportation Planner, Michael Baker International

While a majority of people favor the development of trails in their community, there are others who hold a contrary view - that trails may bring unwanted presence, crime, and other negative factors to their backyards. A critical component of the planning and early development of a mixed-use trail is understanding these concerns, and addressing them in an interactive and respectful manner. In my experience in Central Florida, at times it seemed like local stakeholders thought I was "selling them a trail". Through numerous projects/cases, I have refined my approach in developing a trail concept plan, addressing specific local concerns, and engaging local and regional stakeholders toward making a better product. Entertaining cases will highlight the approaches and strategies that may be used.

Learning Objectives:
  • Recognize the various perspectives of various trail users, adjacent property owners, and other stakeholders - perspectives that are often at odds with one another.
  • Identify specific strategies to address the varying perspectives and issues of concern.
  • Develop tools and techniques for truly hearing and properly responding to opposition.

About the Author

Mr. Kern is a transportation planner with more than 25 years of experience in multi-modal corridor studies, preliminary engineering concept development and assessments, and NEPA studies. He has a BA degree from Princeton University, and an MBA from the University of Central Florida. Mr. Kern has worked for both local governmental agencies and for private consulting firms. He is a member of the American Planning Association, and the American Public Works Association. His work on mixed-use trails in Florida include significant portions of the 230-mile St. Johns River to the Sea Trail, and segments of the Florida Coast to Coast Trail.

More Articles in this Category

Improving Accessibility on Public Lands

Recommendations from American Trails

The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) is Making a Difference Across America

Use this interactive map to find where, when, and how these funds are being used.

Impact of Trails Hub

Everything you need to know about the positive impact of trails on health, environment, economics, and more.

2022 CDT Small Business Survey

As a connector of landscapes, communities, and cultures, the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT) provides a setting for community members, decision makers, conservationists, outdoor enthusiasts, and everyone connected to the lands and waters of the Divide, to come together to discuss how to steward the vital natural, cultural, and historic resources found across its entirety. With this report, the Continental Divide Trail Coalition hopes to highlight the role of the cooperative stewardship model in the management of the CDT, what we accomplished in 2021, and what we are looking forward to in 2022.