Over 1,000 trail projects are waiting for funding to help put Americans back to work

Trails have been an established economic driver for some time, with the outdoor recreation industry contributing over $400 billion per year to the economy. Now there are more than 1,000 trail projects in the United States waiting on funding to help put Americans to work building, maintaining, and improving our nation’s trails, and this number reflects only a fraction of the estimated need that exists in our nation.

American Trails recently completed a study through Penn State University which found data for 1,028 “shovel-ready” trail projects. This means that if funding were provided they would be ready to break ground by summer 2021. Combined, these projects would provide over 83,000 months of work. Not only would these trail projects improve our nation’s trail infrastructure, and provide an essential need for many communities, but they would also help spur our economic recovery after COVID-19.

hrough these projects almost 2 billion dollars would be put back into communities through wages, supplies, and other trail spending. Trails have been consistently shown to be an excellent investment, with return on spending far exceeding even that of road infrastructure, yet often trails are overlooked in infrastructure bills.

These trails will serve a diverse cross-section of recreational enthusiasts, including hikers, cyclists, equestrians, paddlers, and motorized trail users.

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