Trails are the foundation of the outdoor economy
2021 Long Session Success
Why Support Trails
Trail use has increased more than 300% in some places in the last year. The pandemic has demonstrated how eager North Carolinians are for safe places to be outside in nature.
NCDOT’s Great Trails State Plan, to be published in 2021, is a plan to connect all 100 NC counties by trails. State funding will provide matching dollars for significant federal funds and speed investment ready projects to completion, benefitting citizens and the outdoor recreation economy.
Off-road trail networks help people safely get to their destinations. Each year more than 3,000 pedestrians and 850 bicyclists are hit by vehicles in North Carolina, making NC one of the most dangerous states in the US for walking and bicycling.
Trails have a significant return on investment:
Every $1.00 spent on trail construction generates $1.72 ANNUALLY from local business revenue, sales tax revenue, & benefits related to health and transportation.
An NC DOT study of a one-time $26.7 million investment in four NC shared-use paths created the following economic impacts:
Trails are Investment Ready
The Great Trails State Coalition collected information from communities about natural and paved trail projects that are ready for construction and design.
There are 157 projects in 52 counties, representing an estimated $230 million of construction costs. NC DOT’s Great Trails State Plan identifies future projects in all 100 counties. Check them out below.
The Great Trails State Coalition recommends building upon NC’s trail legacy by investing in and expanding our current trail systems:
Building Nature Trails
NC State Parks
- Capacity Building Grants for State Trails
- Trail construction and land purchase dollars for all natural surface trails
- Non-recurring Funding: $45M to leverage federal dollars for paved greenways
Launch Trails Caucus in 2023
Are you on board?
Lumber River. Image by NC State Parks.