In 2014, the Trail Town Program® conducted a trail user survey along the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP). The GAP Trail runs from Pittsburgh, PA to Cumberland, MD, spanning 150 miles. This trail is visited by almost a million users every year generating economic impact along the way. The trail itself is owned and operated by several local trail organizations merged under one coalition known as the Allegheny Trail Alliance.
The purpose of these studies is to provide information regarding the economic impacts of the GAP Trail. Trail user survey forms were distributed to eleven towns beginning in Homestead, PA, to Cumberland, MD, and 562 surveys were collected for this study. Business surveys were collected online through an online polling method. Surveys were also collected through paper copies as well and inputted into the online forum. Forty-five businesses responded to the survey. The majority of these businesses that reported were from lodging, eateries, and retail.
From all previous studies, there has been an overall increase in trail user economic impact along the Great Allegheny Passage.