Benefits Trail

Benefits of Trails

Health Benefits

The majority of Canadians view environmental quality and fitness as the most important factors influencing their personal health. Environics (prepared for Go for Green) 1998. 1998 National Survey on Active Transportation.
There is evidence that improved cycling and walking facilities mean greater participation. The percentage of commuters who cycle is three times greater in cities with substantial bicycle lanes. (Active living – Go for Green. 1995. Linkages: Built Environment, Well-being and active living.)

HTG members promoting the trail at Barrie Tourism event.

Social Benefits

Trails act as a meeting place for the community. Trails foster community involvement, and pride, in addition to providing an opportunity to interact with people of varying backgrounds, and experiences. (Go for Green. Trail Monitor 2)
Trails help build partnerships among private companies, landowners, neighboring municipalities, local government, and advocacy groups. When residents are encouraged to be involved in a community project, like a trail project, they feel more connected to the community. (Warren, N.M. 1998. Nova Scotia Hiking Trails Study. Nova Scotia Trails Federation.)

Economic Benefits

Hiking, cycling, skiing, and wildlife viewing are popular tourist activities. Trails provide opportunities for these experiences and bring revenue into communities. (Ontario Ministry of Tourism)
Nearly 70% of real estate agents contacted used the Bruce Trail as a selling feature when advertising property near the trail. (Schutt, A.M. 1997. A Comprehensive Economic Impact and User Study of the Bruce Trail, Ontario, Canada. Hamilton, Ontario: The Bruce Trail Association.)

In 1996-1997 Ontario snowmobilers spent over $580 Million on both fixed expenses such as equipment, clothing, permits and insurance and variable expenditures incurred while snowmobiling such as fuel, food, maps etc. (Go for Green. Trail Monitor 2)

Heritage Benefits

Trails provide the visitor with first hand opportunities to understand, appreciate, and enjoy key park/site heritage themes and values. ( Parks Canada. 1996. Best Practices for Parks Canada Trails – A Spectrum of Appropriate Trail Activities, Services, and Facilities. Ottawa: Canadian Heritage.)
By bringing abandoned rail corridors back to life, corridors which were at one time the backbone of our country, trail proponents are helping us to find our roots and discover our past. (V�lo Qu�bec. 1995. Multi-Use Trails in Canada: An analysis of some successful cases. Qu�bec.)

Environment Benefits

Greenspaces serve as important buffer zones between urban development and sensitive natural habitats and waterways. These natural areas can protect water resources, shelter plants and wildlife, and allow alternatives to automobile use. (Environment Canada. 2000. Community Greenspaces Fact Sheet)
For more information on the benefits of trails check out the Go for Green website!