Trails Benefits Library

This Trails Benefits Library is a collection of studies on the positive impacts of trails on businesses, public health, and quality of life. Use this form to search by type of benefit, use, year, and region.

Find trails studies by:

Benefit

Use

Year

Region

Studies found (8) for 2003:

2002 User Survey for the Pennsylvania Allegheny Trail Alliance

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Uses studied: ,
Overview: 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.
Region:
States:
Place: Boston, Garrett
Citation: Farber, S., J. Argueta, S. Hughes. 2003. 2002 User Survey for the Pennsylvania Allegheny Trail Alliance. University of Pittsburgh University Center for Social and Urban Research.

A Contingent Trip Model for Estimating Rail-Trail Demand

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Uses studied: ,
Overview: This study estimates future use on a proposed rail-trail in Georgia, while most trail studies estimate use on an existing trail. It found that the best predictors of future trail use are how close the person lives to the trail, whether they had ridden bicycles in the previous year, and whether they had used a rail trail previously; age and income were not related to predicted use.
Region:
States:
Place: Madison, Watkinsville
Citation: Betz, C., J. Bergstrom, and J.M. Bowker. 2003. “A contingent trip model for estimating rail-trail demand.” Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 46(1): 79-96.

An Environmental Intervention to Promote Walking and Cycling—The Impact of a Newly Constructed Rail Trail in Western Sydney

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
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Uses studied: ,
Overview: This study found that a marketing campaign to promote the opening of a new rail trail in Sydney, Australia did little to increase awareness of the trail or increase trail use in the general population. However, it was effective in raising awareness of those who lived closest to the trail.
Region:
States:
Place: Sydney
Citation: Merom, D., A. Bauman, P. Vita, and G. Close. 2003. “An Environmental Intervention to Promote Walking and Cycling—The Impact of a Newly Constructed Rail Trail in Western Sydney.” Preventive Medicine, 36(2): 235-242.

Coastal Georgia Greenway Market Study and Projected Economic Impact

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Uses studied: ,
Overview: This study found that the Coastal Georgia Greenway has the potential to generate substantial economic impact along its route. Using findings from studies on a range of existing rail-trail projects, the study projects use and economic impact for the year the trail is constructed as well as five years later, after more people learn about the trail.
Region:
States:
Place: Savannah, St. Marys
Citation: Toma, M., J. Hoag, and R. Griffin. 2003. Coastal Georgia Greenway Market Study and Projected Economic Impact. Armstrong Atlantic State University Center for Regional Analysis.

Cook County Winter Trail Use Study: Technical Report

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Benefits studied: ,
Overview: This study found that residents of Cook County, Minnesota, a destination for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing, see both activities as having a significant positive impact on the local economy. However, some residents are willing to have less local spending in exchange for fewer conflicts with residents and other user groups.
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States:
Place: Cook County
Citation: Bureau of Business and Economic Research. 2003. Cook County Winter Trail Use Study: Technical Report. University of Minnesota Duluth School of Business and Economics Research Report.

Correlates of Recreational and Transportation Physical Activity Among Adults in a New England Community

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Benefits studied:
Uses studied: ,
Overview: 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.
Region:
Place: Arlington
Citation: Troped, P., R. Saunders, R. Pate, B. Reininger, and C. Addy. 2003. “Correlates of Recreational and Transportation Physical Activity Among Adults in a New England Community.” Preventive Medicine 37(4): 304–310.

The Relationship between Convenience of Destinations and Walking Levels in Older Women

→Summary & Interpretation

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Uses studied:
Overview: This study found that older women in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania walk more overall if they live within walking distance of a trail, and those who use trails use them at least twice per week. Proximity to trails had the strongest relationship with increased walking among 14 neighborhood destinations, including parks, retail establishments, and public services.
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Place: Pittsburgh
Citation: King W., J. Brach, S. Belle, R. Killingsworth, M. Fenton, A. Kriska. 2003. “The relationship between convenience of destinations and walking levels in older women.” American Journal of Health Promotion 18(1):74-82.

Wildfire Effects on Hiking and Biking Demand in New Mexico: A Travel Cost Study

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
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Uses studied: ,
Overview: This study found that crown wildfires that cross trails are likely to have a dramatic effect on use and individual benefit for hikers and mountain bikers that persists for decades after the fire occurs. Prescribed fires are also shown to decrease benefits and use for both groups, but these declines occur gradually over decades rather than an immediate drop in the year of a wildfire.
Region:
States:
Place: Santa Fe, Cibola, Lincoln, Carson Nat Forests and Gila Wilderness Area (NPS)
Citation: Hesseln, H., J. Loomis, A. Gonzalez-Caban, and S. Alexander. 2003. “Wildfire effects on hiking and biking demand in New Mexico: a travel cost study.” Journal of Environmental Management 69(4): 359-368.