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Mon, Mar 8 2010

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Schuylkill River Trail 2009 User Survey and Economic Impact Analysis

The Schuylkill River Trail is a multi-use pathway that generally follows the course of the Schuylkill River from Pottsville to Philadelphia, Pa. The trail consists of sections of rail-trail and canal towpath, as well as small connectors that utilize shared road. The trail is a focal point of the Schuylkill River Heritage Area and has been constructed, as funding permits, by many municipalities and organizations that lie within the watershed. There are currently three separate segments totaling 56 miles of pathway that provide a substantive trail experience and are heavily used.

Beginning in May 2007, the Schuylkill River Heritage Area placed infrared counters at nine trailhead locations to measure movement and activity on the trail. Data from these counters was collected over the course of an entire year.

This survey was designed to gather data on user characteristics, needs, trail maintenance strengths and weaknesses, and to determine the economic impact of the Schuylkill River Trail. Self-selecting survey forms were available at 21 trailheads along the Schuylkill River Trail over a period of eight months. In all, 1,223 completed survey forms are included in this study.

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