A summary of greenway, trail, and blueway case studiesfrom communities throughout the United StatesMay 2016Trails, greenways, and blueways (water trails) provide a wide variety of health, environmental,economic and social benefits to users and the communities they connect, as demonstrated inhundreds of American cities, towns and regions.These benefits – which all contribute to a community’s quality of life -- include:1 Creating Value and Generating Economic ActivityExpenditures by hikers, bicyclists, paddlers and other visitors boost local economies; increasedproperty values provide more revenue sources for community development; entrepreneurialopportunities emerge for small business that serves trail users; quality of place attractsmillennials, active baby boomers and CEOs looking to compete for high quality talent. Improving Bicycle and Pedestrian TransportationTrails and greenways provide transportation alternatives for commuters, students, and othersto get to work, to school, to parks, shopping and entertainment venues. Improving Health through Active LivingPresence of nearby trails and parks encourages more active lifestyles. Clear Skies, Clean Rivers, and Protected WildlifeTrails, greenways and blueways are frequently companions to land and water conservationprojects that improve water quality, protect and restore wildlife habitats, and expand foreststhat filter pollutants and capture carbon dioxide. Protecting People and Property from Flood DamageRiver greenways protect floodplains from development that both increases the severity offlood events and also puts people and property in harm’s way. Enhancing Cultural Awareness and Community IdentityTrails link people with neighborhoods, historic sites, community gathering spots, and eachother.Following is a listing of key findings in case studies of successful trails, greenways and blueways. Eachsummary includes a link to more complete information, often in the form of a user survey andeconomic impact analysis.
Root River Trail42 mile Root River Trail in Southeastern Minnesota.Pre- and post-trail Lanesboro, a town of about 800 residents on the trail, differ dramatically. Post-trailLanesboro boasts 12 B&Bs (with year-long waiting lists), 8 restaurants, an art gallery, a museum, and athriving community theater well-off enough to offer housing to its actors. Economically speaking, theRoot River Trail has been very, very good for Lanesboro. For a town like Lanesboro, a trail can mean anannual economic impact of more than five million e trails/root river/index.htmlSwamp Rabbit Trail, South Carolina14 miles – Greenville to Travelers Rest501,000 annual users 2012-13 6.7 million in trail tourism by out of town trail usershttp://greenvillerec.com/swamprabbitSwamp Rabbit Trail revitalizes Travelers Rest, BlueRidgeNow.com, May 18, ARTICLES/140519904Little Miami River Scenic Trail, Ohio77 miles150,000 to 175,000 annual usersStatus Report on Trails and Greenways in the OKI Region, January ��s Vineyard housing project, Apex, NC 5,000 cost premium for 40 homes adjacent to regional greenway, yet greenway homes were the firstto sell.Economic Benefits of Rails to Trails, Rails to Trails documents/resource docs/tgc economic.pdfWashington and Old Dominion Trail, Northern Virginia45 miles 7 million in visitor spendingVirginia Department of al planning/tr-sbiic4.shtmlVirginia Creeper Trail, Southwestern Virginia34 miles 2.5 million a year in visitor spendingVirginia Department of al planning/tr-sbiic4.shtml2 Page
St. Mark’s Trail, Tallahassee, FL16 mile trail 2.2 million per year economic benefitwww.greenways.comSilver Comet Trail, Georgia61.5 miles1.9 million annual visitors 57 million annual spending by visitorsNorthwest Georgia Regional Planning /p/38692.aspxMonon Trail, IndianapolisHomes close to trail have sold for average 11% more than homes farther away.Rails to Trails a/p/37270.aspxMon River – Caperton – Deckers Creek Trails, West Virginia48 mile linear park 200 million private investment along trail in Morgantown, WVAAmerican tiontrails/trailNRT/MonRiver-WV.htmlWaterway at New River State Park39 mile water trail on New River155,331 visitors 2.5 million visitor spending in local economyVirginia Department of al planning/tr-sbiic4.shtmlPennsylvania Water Trails (Schuylkill, Susquehanna—North Branch, Juniata, and Three Rivers) 2.6 million in Gross State Product (for 6 months, extrapolated from 6 week study)2012 Pennsylvania Recreational Water Trails Economic Impact Study, A Four-trail Case Study, forPennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance umentCenter/View/9573Kickapoo River Water Trail, Wisconsin22 miles 1.75 million annual economic impact from canoeing.Case Studies of Water Trail Impacts on Rural CommunitiesUniversity of ltools/wtimpacts.pdf3 Page
Meramec River Greenway, Missouri108 miles 7.7 million avoided flood damages annually1% increase in home sale price for every 1,000 feet closer to greenway 23.6 million benefit alonglength of greenwayFloodplain Conservation as a Flood Mitigation Strategy, Resources for the Future, Oct. ionDetails.aspx?PublicationID 22237Mingo Creek Greenway, Tulsa, OK9 miles25% reduction in flood insurance ratesAmerican ojects/Great Allegheny Passage, Pennsylvania150 miles30% of trail town gross business revenues were attributed to the trail in 2011, an increase over 2009.In dollars, the revenue attributed to the trail was over 1 million per establishment in 2011.2012 Trail Town Business Survey Report, Frostburg State il's opening eyed as path to prosperity, Baltimore Sun, December 2006"The revival of the city is driven, in part, by the trail," [Great Allegheny Passage in Cumberland, MD]says Mayor Lee Fiedler, who ordered bike racks installed on downtown street corners. "No onethought people with bikes would spend money, but they were wrong. Business is spreading back fromthe trail."Lackawanna River Heritage Trail70 miles 28.2 million annual economic impactLackawanna River Heritage Trail 2009 User Survey and Economic Impact AnalysisThe Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area October 0Survey%20-%20Executive%20Summary.pdfWolf River Greenway36 miles when completeMemphis to Collierville, TN 14 million in estimated total benefits per yearMemphis Gets Moving, Health & Economic Impacts of Building the Wolf River /wrg report final webview2 0108154 Page
Orange County TrailsFlorida“The West Orange, Little Econ, and Cady Way trails in Orange County supported 516 jobs and anestimated economic impact of 42.6 million in 2010.“East Central Florida Regional Planning Council Orange County Trail Report final May2011.pdfTeton County TrailsJackson Hole, WyomingThe Teton County trail system generated an estimated 18 million in economic activity in 2010, with 1.1 million spent by local trail users and 17 million by non-local trail users: “Employment and wagesrelating to the trail system in Teton County totaled 3.6 million with approximately 213 workersemployed in the summer and fall of 2010.“Jackson Hole Trails Project Economic Impact Study s/kaliszewski JHTP final.pdfLudlam Trail6 milesMiami, Florida“The development of Ludlam Trail will save the community between 1.68 million and 2.25 millionannually in direct medical costs related to lack of physical exercise while leading to approximately4,931 to 6,579 area residents becoming new exercisers. Residents within the Ludlam Trail Study Areacan expect to lose or keep off between 32,664 and 109,939 pounds of weight annually by burningbetween 2.19 million and 7.39 million calories (kilocalories) per week while exercising on LudlamTrail.”Trail Benefits Study: Ludlam Trail Case Study rary/trail-benefits-report.pdfAmerican Tobacco TrailDurham, NC/Triangle regionA new bridge linking two unconnected sections of the trail resulted in a dramatic increase in trail useand economic impact. The Mounds Greenway would provide a similar link between the trails inAnderson, Muncie and the Cardinal Greenway.Trail usage increased from 217,900 trips in 2013 to 508,100 trips in 2014. After construction of thebridge, trail users’ annual expenditures supported an additional 43 jobs, 1.3 million in employeecompensation, and 4.9 million in gross business revenues.Bridging the Gap, Economic, Health, and Transportation Impacts from completing a critical link in a 22mile rail nts/BridgingTheGap ATT-FINAL-For-WEBBrochure.pdf5 Page
Iowa River Trail Recreation 520 million in annual spending for trips on 73 rivers statewide, leading to over 6,300 jobs.Economic Impacts of River Trail Recreation in IowaCenter for Agricultural and Rural Development, Daniel Otto, March economic impacts of river trail recreation.pdfIndianapolis Cultural Trail8 milesProperty values within 500 feet of the trail saw a 1 billion increase from 2008 to 2014 in assessedvalue due to their close proximity to the trail.Assessment of the Impact of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick,Indiana University Public Policy Institute, March ail Towns: Capturing Trail-Based TourismA project of Allegheny Trail AllianceA “Trail Town” is a destination along a long-distancetrail. Whether on a rail trail, towpath, water trail, orhiking trail— trail users can venture off the trail to enjoythe scenery, services, and heritage of the nearbycommunity with its own character and charm. It is a safeplace where both town residents and trail users canwalk, find the goods and services they need, and easilyaccess both trail and town by foot or vehicle. In such atown, the trail is an integral and important part of the community. Trail Town Program ,www.trailtowns.org1The Benefits of Greenways, Greenways, Inc., http://www.greenways.com/benefits-of-greenways; The Economic Benefits ofRecreational Trails, U.S. Forest Service, .pdf; From Trail Towns to TroD: Trails andEconomic Development, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, www.railstotrails.org; Economic Benefits of Trail Tourism, American Trails,www.americantrails.org/resources/economics ; The Economic Benefits of Parks and Open Space, Trust for Public Land, www.tpl.org;Economic Benefits of Trails and Greenways, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, www.railstotrails.org; Property Values, Recreation Values, andUrban Greenways, Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, Fall 2004 Volume 22, Number /ESRM304 SocSci/304%20Soc%20Sci%20Lab%20Articles/Lindsey 2004.pdf6 Page
Teton County Trails Jackson Hole, Wyoming The Teton County trail system generated an estimated 18 million in economic activity in 2010, with 1.1 million spent by local trail users and 17 million by non-local trail users: “Employment and wages relating to the trail system in Teton County