filed under: economics of trails


Economic Impacts of Mountain Biking and Bike Trail Events and Festivals in West Virginia

WVU Extension Service Working Paper on how mountain biking and mountain biking facilities can bring an array of benefits to rural communities.


Economic Impacts of Mountain Biking and Bike Trail Systems in West Virginia 051619


In the U.S., an estimated 50 million people (20% of Americans 16 and over) mountain bike. Mountain biking and mountain biking facilities can bring an array of benefits to rural communities. They leverage communities’ natural assets to create places that are attractive to visitors, businesses, and both new and current residents. Documented benefits include health benefits for local users, increased tourism and economic development opportunities, and benefits to the local environment.

Although communities are often concerned about low wages and the seasonal nature of tourism, data suggest that recreation opportunities can generate significant economic impacts. There are multiple examples of how small towns, especially those transitioning from economies dominated by natural resource extraction are leveraging their natural resources for outdoor recreation tourism, and mountain biking specifically.

Published May 2019

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The Economic Benefits of Mountain Biking at One of Its Meccas: An Application of the Travel Cost Method to Mountain Biking in Moab, Utah

This 1997 paper estimates the value of a relatively new form of recreation: mountain biking. Its popularity has resulted in many documented conflicts, and its value must be estimated so an informed decision regarding trail allocation can be made. A travel cost model (TCM) is used to estimate the economic benefits, measured by consumer surplus, to the users of mountain bike trails near Moab, Utah.