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Benefits of Trails

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Benefits of Trails

Trails and greenways offer many benefits. They create connections between neighborhoods, schools and parks; they offer pleasant venues for healthful physical activity; and they can work as low cost infrastructure for economic development through urban revitalization, recreational tourism and small business opportunities.

The USDA Southern Research Station has prepared a fact sheet (PDF) summarizing the economic benefits of trails. 

The National Trails Training Partnership website includes a library of resources explaining the economic benefits of trails. 

Greenville, SC, home of the popular Swamp Rabbit Trail, conducted a study of the impacts of the trail on the community.

The NCSU Institute for Transportation Research and Education conducted a before-and-after study (PDF) on the transportation, public health and economic effects of the American Tobacco Trail.

The Eastern Trail Alliance studied the economic benefits (PDF) of the Eastern Trail in Southern Maine.

The economic impact of the Great Allegheny Passage trail in Pennsylvania was studied in 2008 and 2012.

A trail user survey (PDF) along the Great Allegheny Passage trail in Pennsylvania was conducted in 2014. 

The Pennsylvania Land Trust Association website includes information and studies related to the economic benefits of trails. 

The National Trails Training Partnership website includes citations for studies on the healkth and wellness benefits of trails. 

The Go for Green Program publishes a fact sheet (PDF) on the social, health and heritage benefits of trails. 

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy website includes information about the health, transportation, conservation and economic benefits of trails.