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Trail Management

D&H Rail-Trail: User Survey and Economic Impact Analysis (

By: Rails-to-Trails-Conservancy REPORT
December 31, 2017

D&H Rail-Trail 2016-2017- User Survey and Economic Impact AnalysisDownload

The Delaware & Hudson (D&H) Rail-Trail is a multi-use stone trail located in rural northeast Pennsylvania that has significant snowmobile use. It generally follows the border of Susquehanna and Wayne counties and reaches to the New York state line from its southern terminus near the city of Carbondale. 

From December 2015 through October 2017, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) conducted this study of the users of the 38-mile D&H Rail-Trail under a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. 

Four counters located along the D&H Rail-Trail estimated 10,803 annual nonmotorized user visits. An analysis of survey data from 197 nonmotorized users showed that the spending per day by these nonmotorized users was $20.77 for consumable goods and $128.42 for lodging. Total economic impact from nonmotorized use in 2016 was $371,073. 

This was the first time RTC sought to capture snowmobile economic impact. Due to low snowfall and complexities in recording motorized vehicles, the study was not able to calculate the normal amount of yearly snowmobile use. However, 305 members of the trail’s local snowmobile club did respond to a survey. This provided sufficient data to compare and contrast their spending habits with those of nonmotorized users. Snowmobilers indicated they spend $102.85 per day on consumables and $127.80 on lodging.

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