This study outlines a step-by-step process for estimating trail use, breaking the process down into four primary steps. The authors illustrate how to apply the method using a simple case study on the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail in Pennsylvania.
This study found that destination trailheads for non-local users along this long-distance trail system near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania are associated with the greatest spending per person. This study demonstrates that the economic impact of a trail varies along its length, depending on the types of users the trail attracts and how well the local community can capture their business.
This study found that extending a rail-trail from the outskirts of Fall River, Massachusetts into the city center is likely to generate a range of benefits for the community, including increased physical activity, fewer pedestrian and cyclist crashes with motor vehicles, increased business activity and improved working environment, and less air pollution. This study is an example of a small city’s Health Impact Assessment, a single document that can be used by trail planners and advocates to justify the investment of public funds.
This study found that residents who live closer to rail-trails in Arlington, Massachusetts got an hour more exercise for transportation purposes each week. Proximity to the trails had no effect on the amount of exercise for recreation, suggesting the neighborhood trails in this community are mainly used for transportation purposes.