Bergerson, Terry Benefits of Non-Motorized Trails Oregon Parks & Recreation Department

The article is a summary of the benefits that non-motorized trails can have on the state of Oregon.

There is the economic benefit, as it attracts people to use the trail and they spend money in the community. It impacts near by property values and it's ability to get them to sell, and it attracts business as a desired trait in the area to try to increase the quality of life of those in the business. Indeed one of the major concerns near-by houses have over open spaces is crime rate. However studies have consistently shown that the addition of trails does not increase crimes in that area.

The second benefit non-motorized trails could be used to benefit Oregon are in health and fitness. Indeed having a non-motorized trail encourages the community to walk or bike the path. Even a small increase in physical exercise may greatly improve a person's health. In a country where we are facing a high rate in obesity, and a high cost in health care, one could only conclude that this increase in health would not only benefit the quality of life of the individual but may also help the high cost of health care.

A third benefit from non-motorized trails is a social one. The creation of a trail often requires a lot of partnerships between private companies and landowners, along with members of the community. With a community task at hand, trails can bring people closer together. In addition trials can act as a community meeting area building the bond between neighbors in a community. In addition the trail can work as a focal point for local events.

A fourth benefit is in education. Indeed the development of a trail encourages families and children to spend more time outside and trails can often be used to educate the community about nature, or history of the town. Indeed as we see in places like North Mountain Park on Mountain st. in Ashland OR, pamphlets and stamps are available to educate you about plants and animals in the area, in addition there is a ground devoted towards the Native Americans which is an important part of Ashland's history. In addition trails tend to be very cheap to visit which allows schools to find an educational location to expand learning beyond the classroom.

Another benefit to non motorized trails is recreational benefits. Trails can often open up access to fishing, vista points, picnic and camping areas. All of these things have a real value towards a lot of the community. If there are no places of recreation, people have more incentive to pay for their own However open trails have more options available, and can broaden the horizons available for recreation.

Environmental benefits are another side effect to having non-motorized trail. Often trails will preserve wildlife, natural landscapes, while improving air and water quality. In addition protecting land along rivers and streams can prevent soil erosion and pollution.