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 (9) for 2009:

Children with Attention Deficits Concentrate Better After Walk in the Park

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Benefits studied:
Uses studied:
Overview: A formal walking program for children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) finds that low-intensity walks in an urban park are associated with significantly greater improvement in cognitive function than similar walks in residential or downtown settings. The improvements measured are on par with improvements associated with the most typical medications prescribed for ADHD, and cognitive performance for participants after walking is comparable to the average performance of children who have not been diagnosed with ADHD.
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Place: Not provided
Citation: Faber Taylor, A. and Kuo, F.E., 2009. Children with attention deficits concentrate better after walk in the park. Journal of Attention Disorders 12(5): 402-409.

Economic Impact of Recreational Trail Use in Different Regions of Minnesota

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Benefits studied:
Overview: This study found that across all regions in Minnesota, walkers and hikers are the largest group of trail users and account for most of the local spending, with half of the users in northern and central regions coming from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Activities such as ATV and snowmobiling are relatively small statewide in terms of users and spending, but they are very important sources of income in smaller communities in the northwest and northeast parts of the state.
Region:
States:
Place: Statewide
Citation: Venegas, E. 2009. Economic Impact of Recreational Trail Use in Different Regions of Minnesota. MN Department of Employment and Development.

Ghost Town Trail 2009 User Survey and Economic Impact Analysis

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Uses studied: ,
Overview: This study found that although user spending on this long-distance Pennsylvania trail is modest, it draws a relatively large number of visitors to the small towns through which it runs. The roughly one in ten users who stay overnight spend substantially more than day visitors.
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States:
Place: Ebensburg, Sailor Lick
Citation: Tomes, P. and C. Knoch. 2009. Ghost Town Trail 2009 User Survey and Economic Impact Analysis. Rails to Trails Conservancy and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) Economic Impact Study (2007-2008)

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Uses studied: ,
Overview: This study found that many businesses near the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) have experienced increased revenue due to their proximity to the trail, and expect to expand operations to meet demand. The greatest economic impact comes from overnight trail users, who spend seven times as much as day users.
Region: ,
Place: Cumberland (MD), McKeesport (PA)
Citation: Campos, Inc. 2009. The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) Economic Impact Study (2007-08). The Progress Fund.

Impact of All-Terrain Vehicle Access on the Demand for a Proposed Trail

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Benefits studied:
Overview: In rural Nova Scotia, a proposed trail is predicted to attract 160,000 users per year. Because motorized vehicle use is expected to diminish the quality of non-motorized users’ experience, allowing all-terrain vehicles on the trail is predicted to cut the number of total visits in half.
States:
Place: Annapolis Valley
Citation: Janmaat, J. and B. VanBlarcom. 2009. “Impact of all-terrain vehicle access on the demand for a proposed trail.” Managing Leisure 14(1): 57-70.

Profile of 2008 Minnesota Recreational Trail Users

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Overview: This study found that walkers and hikers, while they have fairly low per-trip spending, generate nearly two-thirds of the total economic impact from trails-related recreation in Minnesota because many people participate and they participate often. Motorized recreation–both summer and winter–has the highest individual expenditures per trip.
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Place: Statewide
Citation: Schneider, I., A. Schuweiler, and T. Bipes. 2009. Profile of 2008 Minnesota Recreational Trail Users. University of Minnesota Tourism Center.

Recreational Demand for Equestrian Trail-Riding

→Summary & Interpretation

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Uses studied:
Overview: This study found that the distance between a user’s home and the trailhead is the most important factor in determining how frequently a trail is used, though proximity alone is not enough if the trail lacks other equestrian-friendly characteristics. To provide the greatest benefit to equestrian users, land managers can look for opportunities to enhance existing trails near population centers with an avid equestrian population.
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Place: Statewide
Citation: Blackwell, M., A. Pagoulatos, W. Hu, and K. Auchter. 2009. “Recreational demand for equestrian trail-riding.” Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 38(2): 229-239.

The Relative Impacts of Trails and Greenbelts on Home Price

→Summary & Interpretation

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Benefits studied:
Uses studied: , ,
Overview: This study found that trails and greenbelts in a San Antonio, Texas neighborhood are associated with higher home values, particularly if the trails are incorporated into a greenbelt. This effect is not just for homes immediately adjacent to the trail, but for all homes in the neighborhood.
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Place: San Antonio
Citation: Asabere, P. and F. Huffman. 2009. “The relative impacts of trails and greenbelts on home price.” The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics 38(4): 408-419.

Trails and their gateway communities: A case study of recreational use compatibility and economic impacts

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Overview: A 98-mile rail trail in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota attracts roughly 46,400 visits per year, with trail users spending $118 per trip, on average. Despite high visitation and spending, the trail’s economic impact could be increased with better connections between nearby towns, and through businesses-like bike shops that target trail users.
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States:
Place: Burnett and Polk Counties
Citation: Kazmierski, B., M. Kornmann, D. Marcouiller, and J. Prey. 2009. Trails and their gateway communities: A case study of recreational use compatibility and economic impacts. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Division of Cooperative Extension Publication #G3880.