filed under: user management


Hub for Information on Trail Users

Everything you need to know about trail counters, trail user surveys, and other information to better understand and engage your trail users.*


*American Trails is continuing to add resources to our hub webpages and understands that these pages are not all inclusive. If you have a resource to add, please send us an email.


These guides and resources provide a framework for understanding and best serving your trail users.

Rules for trail users posted along Tennessee Riverwalk Trail; Chattanooga, Tennessee

Rules for trail users posted along Tennessee Riverwalk Trail; Chattanooga, Tennessee

Free Webinars on Trail Users

Trail Users Count!

This webinar explores how data, metrics, and advanced tools are being used to further the development of trail networks, and showcase how it especially helped with an extensive trail system in greater Philadelphia.

Using Interactive Maps to Engage Trail Users

Sponsored by Elebase. Learn how digital interactive mapping can help improve engagement with trail users and stakeholders.



Members of the Cheaha Trail Riders installing traffic counters on one of the OHV trails in Minooka Park near Jemison, Alabama

Members of the Cheaha Trail Riders installing traffic counters on one of the OHV trails in Minooka Park near Jemison, Alabama

Resources and Guides on Trail Users

Counting Trail Users

Until recently, user count data was collected manually through an annual volunteer effort. In 2017, however, a program in Pennsylvania took their count program to the next level by rolling out 17 automated Eco-Counters in all four corners of the state.

Horses as Trail Users

Horses are the only means of transport into the wilderness that has a mind of its own.

Experiences of electric bicycle users in the Sacramento, California area

The study asked e-bike users in the greater Sacramento area about the reasons why they chose to invest in an e-bike, the ways in which they use their e-bikes, positive and negative aspects of using e-bikes, and reactions from friends and family members.

Ridge to River Trail System Users Survey

Why a survey? Know your customer. This adage applies to both the public and private sectors. By better understanding the trail user: where they live; how they get to the trails; how they use the trails; what they enjoy; and their general level of satisfaction; we can better allocate scarce resources.

Shared-Use Path Level of Service Calculator and Users Guide

The purpose of this guide is to introduce practitioners and others to: 1) the findings of our study on the quality of service on trails; 2) a new analytical tool called the Shared-Use Path Level of Service (LOS) Calculator, and 3) potential implications for trail design.

Suggestions on Improving Safety for Horseback Riders and Other Trail Users

Efforts to help different activities on multi-use trails get along better and to improve safety.

Forging alliances among trail users: the role of state trails organizations

How would you like to get involved with yet another organization-- more meetings, more subcommittees, more incomprehensible reports? There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical about creating new groups, but there are compelling reasons for putting efforts into those that promote trails on a statewide basis.

21st Century Way to Attract Trail Users: On-Line Trail Finder

Learn about the new Trail Finder online database!

Creating the Trails That Users Want So You Don't Get the Trails You Don't Want

Case studies of what works, best practices and techniques of building the correct type of trails, and information regarding the creation and maintenance of sustainable trail systems.

10 Tips for Counting Visitors on Trails

If you aren’t counting and surveying trail users, you may be missing an opportunity to better fund your program and help the community understand the value of your trail system or interconnected network of trails.

FAQ: How to measure the strength and growth of a trail network

Measuring the benefits and economic development of trails.

Trail User Survey Workbook

RTC's guide to conducting a survey, including sample surveys and methods.

The Positive (and sometimes unintended!) Benefits of Cultivating Your Trails Community

Building relationships with your trail users.

The Best of Both Worlds

Improving trails for both wildlife habitat and trail users’ experiences.

Backcountry Horsemen "Leave No Trace" Trainer Programs

BCHA teaches Leave No Trace principles to stock users.


Cedar View Trail bridge. Completed pavers remind trail users of railroad history of this particular trail corridor; Artist Judy Bales

Cedar View Trail bridge. Completed pavers remind trail users of railroad history of this particular trail corridor; Artist Judy Bales

Success Stories of Trail Users

Trail Horse Users: A Perspective on Progress

Equestrian trail users are awakening to the fact that we are recreating largely on public lands owned by more than 300 million citizens.

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.

A Motorized Advocate Explores the Common Ground Between All Trail Users

OHV recreation provides vital funding for all trail types through a fuel tax that funds the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), yet too often there are conflicts between motorized trail users and the broader trail community. American Trails talked to Mathew Giltner of the Silver State Off-Road Alliance in Nevada about the importance of OHV trails, and how we can start bridging communication gaps.

Three Rivers Heritage Trail 2014 User Survey and Economic Impact Analysis

The 24-mile Three Rivers Heritage Trail extends along the banks of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers in one of America's most storied cities, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Tennessee Off-Highway Vehicle User Survey

The characteristics of OHV users in Tennessee, types of OHV use and trip characteristics, and the perceptions and preferences of OHV users were studied.4

Three Rivers Heritage Trail 2014 User Survey and Economic Impact Analysis

The 24-mile Three Rivers Heritage Trail extends along the banks of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers in one of America's most storied cities, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

San Jose Trail Count Shows Trail Use Continues to Rise

The San Jose trail count provides data to support further development of the integrated trail network.

Trail User Demographics, Physical Activity Behaviors, and Perceptions of a Newly Constructed Greenway Trail

To better understand and promote physical activity on a newly constructed trail, the present study examined the demographic characteristics and physical activity behaviors of trail users

Recreation Code of Ethics urged by Blue Ribbon Coalition

This etiquette guideline for trail users is from a motorized perspective.


A wild ride at the North Carolina Museum of Art and House Creek Greenway in Raleigh

A wild ride at the North Carolina Museum of Art and House Creek Greenway in Raleigh

Trail User Focused Organizations

Pulaski Users Group (PUG)

The Pulaski Users Group (PUG) organizes volunteer trips focused on trail maintenance, trail reclamation, and invasive species monitoring. Volunteers receive related training which equips them with the skills and knowledge to complete a variety of trail restoration projects.

Jamar Technologies, Inc.

JAMAR Technologies provides traffic data collection and distance measuring equipment to agencies all over the world.

Eco-Counter, Inc.

With over 15 years of experience, Eco-Counter is the global leader in pedestrian and cyclist counting solutions.

TRAFx Research

TRAFx Research Ltd. (est. 2001) develops and sells advanced counting systems. A TRAFx system consists of state-of-the-art hardware and software to collect, retrieve, analyze, manage, store and share data.

Published May 2022

More Articles in this Category

The Trail Access Project Removes Barriers to the Outdoors

Their goal is to facilitate the removal of barriers to recreational trail usage through providing information, increasing accessible features, and supporting park managers in making changes.

Trail User Survey Library

These Trail User Survey examples show how trails across the country are listening to their trail users to gather data for funding, maintenance, events, and more.

Pennsylvania Trail Design & Development Principles

A compilation of best practices and guidelines for the planning, design, construction, and management of your trail employing sustainable design.