filed under: user management


Trail User Survey Workbook

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

by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC)


RTC User Survey Methodology


The purpose of this manual is to help you implement a trail user survey and determine

the economic impact that your trail has on your community. Let’s begin by looking at the steps involved in a survey project.

• Establish the goals of the project – what do you want to learn?

• Determine who you want to interview

• Choose a data collection methodology

• Create your questionnaire

• Collect the data – ask the questions

• Analyze the data

• Produce a report

Published January 2005

About the Author


Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people. RTC’s mission, and its value, is magnified in urban areas, where one mile of trail can completely redefine the livability of a community. Where trails are more than just recreational amenities, creating opportunities for active transportation and physical activity—improving our health and wellbeing—as they safely connect us to jobs, schools, businesses, parks, and cultural institutions in our own neighborhoods and beyond.

More articles by this author

More Articles in this Category

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.*

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.