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 (7) for 2004:

A Community-Based Approach to Promoting Walking in Rural Areas

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Benefits studied:
Uses studied:
Overview: This study found that in southeastern Missouri, public health interventions to increase residents’ trail use, such as newsletters and fun walks, had no statistically-observable effect on residents’ walking habits or physical activity. A third of those who use the trail report increased overall physical activity levels since they began using the trail, suggesting while that trails can increase community physical activity, a primary challenge is getting residents to begin using them.
Region: ,
Place: Multi-State
Citation: Brownson, R., E. Baker, R. Boyd, N. Caito, K. Duggan, R. Housemann, M. Kreuter, T. Mitchell, F. Motton, C. Pulley, T. Schmid, and D. Walton. 2004. “A community-based approach to promoting walking in rural areas.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine 27(1): 28-34.

Cost Effectiveness of a Bicycle/Pedestrian Trail Development in Health Promotion

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Benefits studied:
Uses studied: ,
Overview: This study found that three-quarters of trail users in Lincoln, Nebraska report being more physically active since they began using trails, most of whom are active for general health. The cost per user who is more active since they began using the trails is $98, less than other programs aimed at increasing physical activity.
Region:
States:
Place: Lincoln
Citation: Wang, G., C. Macera, B. Scudder-Soucie, T. Schmid, M. Pratt, and D. Buchner. 2004. “Cost effectiveness of a bicycle/pedestrian trail development in health promotion.” Preventive Medicine 38(2): 237-242.

Pathways to Prosperity; Economic Impact of Investment in Bicycle Facilities: A Case Study of North Carolina Northern Outer Banks

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Uses studied:
Overview: This study found that each year, the economic impact from cyclists on the Outer Banks far exceeds the original investment of public funds used to build bicycle-friendly facilities. The majority of visitors were likely to extend their stay and return to the area because of the availability of bicycle facilities.
Region:
Place: Outer Banks
Citation: Lawrie, J. 2004. Pathways to Prosperity; Economic Impacts of Investment in Bicycle Facilities: A Case Study of North Carolina Northern Outer Banks. North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Property Values, Recreation Values, and Urban Greenways

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Benefits studied: ,
Uses studied: ,
Overview: This study found that in Indianapolis property values are higher when homes are located near conservation areas without trails or near high-profile, destination trails, but are not any different when they are located near less-popular trails. Individual trail users place a positive value on being able to use trails, which is sufficiently high to justify the expense of trail construction and maintenance.
Region:
States:
Place: Indianapolis
Citation: Lindsey, G., Man, J., Payton, S., and K. Dickson. 2004. “Property values, recreation values, and urban greenways.” Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 22 (3): 69–90.

The Washington & Old Dominion Trail: An Assessment of User Demographics, Preferences, and Economics

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Uses studied: ,
Overview: This study found that the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail generates significant local economic impact, even though it is primarily used by locals. Using a creative set of questions, the authors identify which trail features are sufficient and which should be higher priorities for funding.
Region:
States:
Place: Washington, DC, outlying rural areas
Citation: Bowker, J., Bergstrom, J., Gill, J., and Lemanski, U. 2004. The Washington & Old Dominion Trail: An Assessment of User Demographics, Preferences, and Economics.  USDA Forest Service, University of Georgia and National Park Service.

The Waterway at New River State Park: An Assessment of User Demographics, Preferences, and Economics

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Benefits studied: ,
Uses studied:
Overview: This study found that the water trail along the New River Trail in western Virginia is used frequently by locals and non-locals, and is a relatively large source of revenue for local businesses. The trail and communities near the trail currently provide the amenities that trail users find most important, although there may be unmet demand for outdoor stores and restaurants, which could increase the trail’s economic impact.
Region:
States:
Place: Pulaski, Galax
Citation: Bowker, J., J. Bergstrom, and J. Gill. 2004. The Waterway at New River State Park: An Assessment of User Demographics, Preferences, and Economics. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Use of a Community Trail among New and Habitual Exercisers: A Preliminary Assessment

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Benefits studied:
Uses studied:
Overview: This study found that in Morgantown, West Virginia, one-quarter of trail users had not been active before the trail was built, and who report large increases in physical activity since they began using the trail. For most of these newly-active residents, the trail was the only place where they exercised and they report the trail’s safety, paved and flat terrain, and convenience as the most important considerations in deciding to use the trail.
Region:
Place: Morgantown
Citation: Gordon P., S. Zizzi, and J. Pauline. 2004. “Use of a community trail among new and habitual exercisers: a preliminary assessment.” Preventing Chronic Disease 1(4): 1-11.