In 2013, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) conducted a study of six connected trails (the Trails) that make up the central leg of the developing 270-mile Erie to Pittsburgh Trail (EPT) and are located in northwest Pennsylvania. The Trails are connected by geography, history and marketing. Owned, operated and maintained by several trail organizations and municipalities, the Trails are also promoted by the Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry and Tourism, an economic development and tourism promotion agency that also administers the designated Oil Region National Heritage Area.
Together, these trails, located in and adjacent to the Oil Heritage Region of Pennsylvania, represent more than 66 miles of continuous multi-modal corridor. The six trails surveyed are as follows:
- Queen City Trail (1.4 mi)
- Oil Creek State Park Trail (9.7 mi)
- McClintock Trail (3.7 mi)
- Samuel Justus Recreation Trail (5.8 mi)
- Allegheny River Trail (34.2 mi)
- Sandy Creek Trail (12 mi)
An analysis of the data accumulated from infrared counters located along the Trails and paper surveys received from users indicates an estimated 158,507 annual user visits to the combined Trails, resulting in a total economic impact in 2013 of $7,479,348 ($6,928,620 directly into the local economy).