Working Together to Connect the Region’s Shared-Use Trails
Mon River Trail | Photo by Steve Shaluta, courtesy Mon River Trails Conservancy
Fueling Strong Economies in the Industrial Heartland
Creating new regional economic opportunity is central to the vision of the Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition (IHTC). The trails alone offer serenity, scenery, historical sites, industrial relics, public art, trailside eateries and more. Beyond the trail, visitors can cycle, drive or be transported to a wide variety of attractions.
A recent study of the potential for the trail project to generate tourism labeled the “I Heart Trails” as a destination—one that has lure—a “wow” factor that leaves lasting impressions.
The study found that the IHTC is uniquely positioned to bring value to the region by influencing trail development and quality, trail-to-town connections and tourism promotion. These findings are bolstered by the fact that the economic impact of trails within the project footprint has already been demonstrated:
- Visitors to the rural Ghost Town Trail have a positive annual impact of $1.7 million.
- People who frequent the Three Rivers Heritage Trail in Pittsburgh generate $7 million annually for the local economy.
- The latest study along the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage demonstrates an annual $50 million direct economic impact to communities along the trail.
- A 2013 study on 66 miles of the proposed Erie to Pittsburgh trail corridor showed an annual impact of $7 million.
It’s evident that trails increasingly demonstrate their significance in community transformation through economic activity by trail users, including visitors and locals.
Sign on here to learn more about the Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition and how you can get involved.