Trails boost local economy, quality of life

An article in the Elkhart County (Pennsylvania) Truth [article no longer available online] talks about the impact of biking/walking trails on the economy and quality fo life of a community:
A nationwide study shows that bike trails (once finished and connected!) are used by 50 percent of the residents of the community, as compared to 7 percent for public swimming pools, and only 1 percent for municipal golf courses. . . .

The town of Clinton, Missouri, was named an All-American City, partly in recognition of its efforts to combat cardiovascular diseases. The city's Golden Valley Hospital and its wellness center are strategically located across the highway from a stretch of Missouri's famous KATY Rail-Trail, just the place for patients to walk, jog or bike.
Another eTruth article says:
Tom Ridge understood the economic value of trails, once completed. The 15-year-old Yough River Trail in Pennsylvania, for instance, draws around two million visitors a year. While most individuals and families bring their own bikes, others paid for 178,000 bike rentals, on this one trail alone.

Eric Martin, a resident of the village of Ohiopyle, Pa., said, "The trail has infused new economic life into communities all along its path. Not only bicycle shops, but also restaurants and retail outlets now cater to the thousands of bicyclists on the trail."

The officials of the neighboring cities of Cumberland and Frostburg, Maryland, are excited about the Trail-alongside-a-Railroad between them." We really believe we have a gold mine here," said the director of their Greenways Program. "This trail has proven to have an enormous positive impact on our communities."

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