This study found that walking trails in rural, southeastern Missouri communities are associated with the greatest increase in exercise for those most at risk of inactivity, particularly those who were not already regular walkers, have a high school education or less, or who earn less than $15,000 per year. Trails that were at least a half mile long, paved, or located in the smallest towns were associated with the largest increases in exercise.
Brownson, R., R. Housemann, D. Brown, J. Jackson-Thompson, A. King, B. Malone, and J. Sallis. 2000. “Promoting Physical Activity in Rural Communities: Walking Trail Access, Use, and Effects.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine 18(3): 235-242.