The Eppley Institute has long supported trail development through expertise in trail planning and evaluation, and is now working on a project to assess the benefits of trail use throughout Indiana. The Indiana Trails Study kicked off on April 10 with volunteers inviting trail users and non-users to take a survey on 9 different trails throughout the state of Indiana. Almost 800 surveys were returned during the first of four rounds of data collection. Volunteers will be out on the trails once again during the week of June 5-11 with the final two rounds in August and October.
The goal of the study is to collect data on trail use, health factors related to trail use, and the economic impact of trails throughout the State of Indiana. The Eppley Institute will collect and analyze statistically valid data that will inform future trail development, operations, and maintenance efforts. This study is a follow up to the nationally-acclaimed 2001 Indiana Trails Study that provided valuable data to trail managers, trail advocates, and the State of Indiana.
The nine trails participating in the study are:
- Erie-Lackawanna Trail in NW Indiana
- Rivergreenway in Fort Wayne
- Pumpkinvine Nature Trail in Elkhart and LaGrange Counties
- Monon Trail in Indianapolis and Carmel
- The Cardinal Greenway from Marion to Muncie to Richmond
- Nickel Plate Trail in Kokomo, Rochester and Peru
- Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage in Evansville
- The People Trail in Columbus
- The B-line Trail in Bloomington
Two additional phases of the Study are either underway or will be underway very soon- 1) the collection of trail use data by infrared trail counters and 2) a survey of owners of property adjacent to the trail.
Stay tuned for future updates as Eppley continues to lead in trail planning and supporting the advancement of trails connecting communities throughout the nation!