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 (13) for Summer motorized:

Spearhead Trails Economic and Fiscal Impacts

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Benefits studied:
Uses studied:
Overview: An extensive motorized trail system in rural southwest Virginia has brought substantial new spending to the community, helping to diversify the area’s traditionally coal-based economy. The estimated economic impact is less than the predicted impacts before the system was built, but the impacts nonetheless exceed state and local investments.
Region:
States:
Place: Buchanan County, Dickenson County, Lee County, Russell County, Scott County, and Tazewel County
Citation: Institute for Service Research. 2017. Economic and Fiscal Impacts. Coeburn, VA: Spearhead Trails.

Bonner County Trails Final Survey Results

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Benefits studied:
Overview: In rural Bonner County in northern Idaho, trails are used by three-quarters of residents an average of every day in the summer and every other day in the winter. Trail use is high for all residents, even accounting for differences in the length of residence in the county, income, and age. Business owners are more likely to identify trails as an important factor in their decision to move to the county.
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Place: Bonner County
Citation: RRC Associates. 2016. Bonner County Trails Final Survey Results. Bozeman, MT: Headwaters Economics.

Enchanted Circle Trails: Final Survey Results

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Benefits studied: , ,
Overview: In Taos, New Mexico, Hispanic residents and low-income residents are less likely to have used trails during the previous year, but those who have used trails during the previous year use them just as often as other (non-Hispanic) residents. Among low-income residents, those with a park or trail within a 10-minute walk of their house were 50 percent more likely to have used trails during the previous year.
Region:
States:
Place: Taos County
Citation: RRC Associates. 2016. Enchanted Circle Trails: Final Survey Results. Prepared for Taos Land Trust; Headwaters Economics. Boulder, CO: RRC Associates.

Oregon Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Participation and Priorities

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Uses studied:
Overview: Across Oregon, off-highway vehicle (OHV) riders account for approximately 3.1 million days of riding per year and nearly $100 million in spending.  Sixty percent of respondents support increasing the OHV registration fee from $10 to $15, and more than half identify the maintenance of existing trails as the most important funding priority.
Region:
States:
Place: State-wide
Citation: Lindberg, K. and T. Bertone-Riggs. 2015. Oregon Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Participation and Priorities. Salem, OR: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

Outdoor Recreation Scarcity and Abundance in Western Oregon: A Spatial Analysis

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Benefits studied:
Overview: Across western Oregon, there is substantial variation in how well the supply of hiking, mountain biking, and off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails meets demand for these trails by local users. Although some communities have many miles of trails, such as the 146 miles of mountain biking trails within 60 minutes of Portland, the supply of trails may be too low to support the number of people using them.
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States:
Place: Portland, Tillamook, Sandy, Newburg, McMinnville, Salem, Corvallis, Eugene, Coos Bay, Roseburg, Grants Pass, Medford
Citation: ECONorthwest. 2015. Outdoor recreation scarcity and abundance in Western Oregon: A Spatial Analysis. Portland, OR: Bureau of Land Management.

Economic Importance of Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation: An Analysis of Idaho Counties

→Summary & Interpretation

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Benefits studied:
Uses studied:
Overview: Off-highway vehicle users in Idaho take about 500,000 trips annually to counties away from their home towns and spend $186 million during these trips. The rural counties near population centers get the most visits, but spending on trips and equipment remains mostly in the larger cities.
Region:
States:
Place: All Idaho counties
Citation: Anderson, C. and G. Taylor. 2014. Economic Importance of Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation: An Analysis of Idaho Counties. University of Idaho Extension Pub. CIS 1195. Moscow, ID: University of Idaho.

Community Economic Contributions from Recreational Trails Usage on Public Lands: Implications from a Comprehensive Wyoming Study

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Benefits studied: ,
Overview: This study found that trail-related recreation on Wyoming’s 10,000 miles of trails, both motorized and non-motorized, generates substantial spending for local businesses and tax revenue for state and local governments. While off-road vehicle (ORV) and snowmobile users generate far more spending in this analysis, the incomplete assessment of non-motorized users makes it difficult to make comparisons of impact between motorized and non-motorized users.
Region:
States:
Place: Statewide
Citation: Nagler, A., C. Bastian, D. Taylor, and T. Foulke. 2013. “Community Economic Contributions from Recreational Trails Usage on Public Lands: Implications from a Comprehensive Wyoming Case Study.” A Journal of the Western Agricultural Economics Association, 2013(Fall): 1-11.

Comparing the Costs and Health Benefits of a Proposed Rail Trail

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Benefits studied: ,
Uses studied: ,
Overview: In rural Nova Scotia, a proposed trail is expected to increase substantially the amount of physical activity of local residents, with over half of respondents predicting increased physical activity due to the trail. For every dollar spent constructing the trail, it is expected to generate at least $2 in avoided health care costs.
States:
Place: Annapolis Valley
Citation: VanBlarcom, B. and J. Janmaat. 2013. “Comparing the costs and health benefits of a proposed rail trail.” Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events 5(2): 187-206.

Motorized Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Development within Trailside Communities

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Overview: In southwestern Wisconsin, a 47-mile trail is a destination for non-local motorized trail users, who generate over $13 million dollars in spending each year. When the study was conducted, the railroad owner had petitioned to rebuild a portion of the rail line along the trail. This study was used to demonstrate the trail’s benefits to communities near the trail.
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States:
Place: Green, Lafayette, and Iowa Counties
Citation: Carper, C., J. Guth, E. Kakde, D. Marcouiller, P. Ohlrogge, and L. Wolfe. 2012. Motorized Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Development within Trailside Communities. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Division of Cooperative Extension Publication #G3965.

Spearhead Trails Implementation Plan, Vol. II Economic Impact Assessment

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Overview: This study assesses the potential impact of a region-wide trail destination for multiple user groups on private, primarily corporate-owned land in southwest Virginia. It found that developing a destination-quality trail system requires region-wide coordination, both in trail construction and linking, as well as in providing supporting infrastructure for tourists and marketing to potential visitors outside the region.
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States:
Place: Buchanan County, Dickenson County, Lee County, Russell County, Scott County, Tazewel County
Citation: Sustainable Development Consulting International. 2012. Spearhead Trails Implementation Plan, Vol. II: Economic Impact Assessment. Southwest Virginia Regional Recreation Authority.

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

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.