filed under: trail inventory & capacity


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.

The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy in Traverse City, Michigan has generously supplied two survey samples. From their website, “For nearly three decades, the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy has protected and cared for the region’s natural, scenic, farm and forest lands.

With the support of individual donors, foundations and volunteers, and the partnership of local, state, and federal agencies, we have protected more than 40,000 acres of land and 124 miles of shoreline along the region’s exceptional rivers, lakes and streams.”

Survey Examples:

Timber Recreation Area User Survey

Arcadia Marsh User Survey

The Connecticut Trail Census has generously provided their Trail Census User Survey. From their website, “The Connecticut Trail Census is an innovative statewide volunteer-based data collection and education program that encourages data informed decision-making and promotes active citizen participation in multi-use trail monitoring and advocacy. The Trail Census includes trail use counts recorded by infrared pedestrian counters, trail user intercept surveys administered by trained volunteers, and public education programs. The project is statewide and serves community leaders and decision makers including local elected officials, planners, economic development professionals, trail advocates, trail maintenance professionals, environmental, health and outdoor activity advocates, as well as the general public. The program was developed as a partnership program between the University of Connecticut, the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments, the Connecticut Greenways Council, and local trail advocacy organizations.”

Survey Example:

Trail Census User Survey

The Heritage Rail Trail County Park has generously supplied their Trail User Survey and Economic Impact Analysis. They noted, “The report contains relevant data from the 2017 study as well as the historic data from the five previous studies. To the best of my knowledge it is the longest continuous tracking survey on any rail trail in the country.” Heritage Rail Trail County Park is also a National Recreation Trail, and more about the trail can be found at this link.

Survey Example:

The 2017 Heritage Rail Trail County Park Trail User Survey and Economic Impact Analysis

Three Rivers Park District has generously supplied two trail surveys they employed in the summer of 2019, a visitor survey and follow up survey. Read more about Minnesota State Trails at this link.

Survey Examples:

Minnesota State Trail Visitor Survey

Minnesota State Trail Follow-Up Survey

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has generously supplied a survey that was administered during the 2019 summer on Three Rivers Park District’s non-motorized regional trails. Surveys could be completed onsite or online. Those preferring a web-based survey were given a web link after contact was made on the trail.

Survey Examples:

Trail Survey


If you have Trail User Survey examples to add to this library please send them to [email protected]

Published October 2021

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