Evidence of Many Varieties of Economic Benefits Linked to Trails

Trails and greenways impact our economy through tourism, events, urban redevelopment, community improvement, property values, health care costs, jobs and investment, and general consumer spending.

Americans do spend a great deal on outdoor recreation. A 2006 Outdoor Industry Foundation study found that “Active Outdoor Recreation” contributes $887 billion annually to the U.S. economy, supports 7.6 million direct national jobs, generates $59.2 billion in annual state and local tax revenue, and $65.3 billion in national tax revenue. Active recreation is defined as bicycling, trail activities, paddling, snow sports, camping, fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing.

Looking at our public lands, a recent study shows the importance of national parks and Bureau of Land Management area to the economy:

“The 437 million recreational visits to Interior-managed lands in 2010 supported more than 388,000 jobs nationwide and contributed over $44 billion in economic activity. Many of those jobs were in rural communities, including 15,000 jobs in Utah, 14,000 jobs in Wyoming, 9,000 in Colorado, and 8,000 in Arizona.”

Another way that we all benefit from trail facilities is increased public health.

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