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 Minnesota:

Municipal investment in off-road trails and changes in bicycle commuting in Minneapolis, Minnesota over 10 years: a longitudinal repeated cross-sectional study

→Summary & Interpretation

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Overview: This study in Minneapolis, Minnesota, finds that commuting rates by bicycle increased substantially between 2000 and 2010 once 10 miles of paved paths separated from roadways were created. Using careful statistical methods, they show that neighborhoods closest to the new paths and with the most commuting routes crossing the paths had the greatest increases in bike commuting rates.
Region:
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Place: Minneapolis
Citation: Hirsch, J.A., Meyer, K.A., Peterson, M., Zhang, L., Rodriguez, D.A. and Gordon-Larsen, P. 2017. Municipal investment in off-road trails and changes in bicycle commuting in Minneapolis, Minnesota over 10 years: a longitudinal repeated cross-sectional study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 14(1): 21.

Trails on Tribal Lands in the United States

→Summary & Interpretation

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Overview: This study found that the benefits of trails in Indian Country may be more significant than in other communities that are less culturally or spatially fragmented, less politically and economically marginalized, or less culturally tied to the landscape. Trails can provide particularly valuable benefits to residents of Indian Country, helping to improve residents’ quality of life in several dimensions: connecting tribal members to each other and to culturally significant sites and natural resources; providing safe alternative transportation routes across the reservation; providing opportunities for safe exercise; and providing opportunities for economic development and cultural education.
Region: ,
Place: Tribal lands in the US
Citation: Deyo, N., M. Bohdan, R. Burke, A. Kelley, B. van der Werff, E. Blackmer, R. Grese, and N. Reo. 2014. “Trails on tribal lands in the United States.” Landscape and Urban Planning 125 (2014): 130-139.

Economic Impact and Demographics of Recreational Horse Trail Users in Minnesota

→Summary & Interpretation

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Overview: This study found that the average respondent rides on Minnnesota’s state-maintained horse trail system 33 days per year. Three-quarters of all trips are taken within 30 minutes of home, suggesting that the primary benefits from horse trails in Minnesota are in the enjoyment people derive from using trails close to home rather than in attracting non-local visitors.
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Place: Statewide
Citation: Schneider, I., A. Date, E. Venegas, and K. Martinson. 2011. “Economic Impact and Demographics of Recreational Horse Trail Users in Minnesota.” Journal of Equine Veterinary Science 31(5): 333-334.

Economic Impact of Recreational Trail Use in Different Regions of Minnesota

→Summary & Interpretation

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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.
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Place: Statewide
Citation: Venegas, E. 2009. Economic Impact of Recreational Trail Use in Different Regions of Minnesota. MN Department of Employment and Development.

Profile of 2008 Minnesota Recreational Trail Users

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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.

Two Approaches to Valuing Some Bicycle Facilities’ Presumed Benefits

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Overview: This study found that those commuting by bicycle are willing to go out of their way to use a safer route, with the largest detour for on-street, designated bicycle lanes, followed by routes without parking and routes with an off-street bicycle lane. The effect of these bicycle facilities on property values is mixed, depending on the type of facility and whether it is in an urban or suburban neighborhood.
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Place: Minneapolis, St. Paul
Citation: Krizek, K. 2006. “Two approaches to valuing some bicycle facilities’ presumed benefits.” Journal of the American Planning Association 72(3): 309-320.

Snowmobiling in Minnesota: Economic Impact and Consumer Profile

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Overview: This study found that while Minnesota snowmobilers spend a large and growing amount of money each year (nearly $200 million in 2004). However, less than half of that spending occurs at destination sites. Efforts to shift spending on expenses such as equipment and fuel could increase snowmobiling’s economic impact, particularly in rural destinations in northern parts of the state.
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Place: Statewide
Citation: Schneider, I., P. Elisabeth, R. Salk, and T. Schoenecker. 2005. Snowmobiling in Minnesota: Economic Impact and Consumer Profile. University of Minnesota Tourism Center.

Cook County Winter Trail Use Study: Technical Report

→Summary & Interpretation

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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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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.

Case Studies of Water Trail Impacts on Rural Communities

→Summary & Interpretation

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Overview: This study found that across three communities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Carolina, water trails have created a destination for non-local paddlers interested in multi-day trips. Communities are able to capture this economic opportunity only if businesses are immediately on the water or easily accessed via trail or shuttle, and if there are businesses that cater to paddlers, such as restaurants, lodging and camping, and shuttle and rental services.
Region: ,
Place: Lake County (MN), Vernon County (WI), Martin County (NC)
Citation: Johnson, L. 2002. Case Studies of Water Trail Impacts on Rural Communities (Unpublished Master’s Thesis). University of Oregon.