Current use of trails in Bruce & Grey Counties generates over $24.5 million annually by local residents and tourist.
Trails go far beyond beautifying our cities, towns and rural lands. They reach into the very fabric of each community and culture, and touch every single person living in Ontario. How can something so beautiful provide so much: economic benefits, health and environmental benefits, and social and heritage benefits?
- Trails create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs, not just during the construction, but also long after when they are being enjoyed.
- Today's tourists are taking more vacations of shorter duration and closer to home. They are spending their vacation dollars on restaurants, lodging, retail purchases, food and beverage and other expenses.
- Many trail users purchase durable goods to support their trail activities, e.g., snowmobiles and mountain bikes, equestrian equipment, hiking boots and camping gear, etc. These purchases funnel back into the economy through jobs and taxes.
- Properties adjacent to trails typically have a higher resale value, and don't stay on the market for very long.
Health & Environmental Benefits
- Trails are well suited to Canadians when it comes to their personal health. Environmental quality and fitness are the two most important factors influencing Canadian lifestyle choices.
- Among the 10 most popular fitness activities are walking, biking and jogging, all of which are well suited to the outdoor trails.
- More and more commuters are riding to their bikes to work due to the increased presence of bicycle paths, especially in cities.
- An increase in exercise, leads to better health, which leads to a decrease in health care costs.
- Can you go for a walk without saying hello? Even without intention, we meet and greet others we pass on trails.
- Trails are not limited to the rich and famous; they are accessible to all income brackets and all age groups.
- Many trail activities are relatively inexpensive e.g., bird watching, walking, cycling, skiing, etc.
- Trail usage is not limited to one season, for example, one can walk year round or in-line skate in the summer and snow shoe in the winter.
- Walkers travel at a slower pace, which gives them more time to enjoy and appreciate the splendor of the environment and the community.
- Trail creation and maintenance build bonds and partnerships for those groups that have a vested interest in the project: private companies, landowners, neighbouring municipalities, local government, advocacy groups and residents.
- One of our greatest historic feats was the completion of the Canadian railway system. Today, many abandoned rail lines are being converted to trail lines, preserving the heritage and history that once traversed the land.
- Interpretive signs found along trail corridors identify areas of history and architecture and provide historical information on industrial relics, such as bridges, canal locks, signaling devices and switching stations.
- Trails can link historic and cultural sites, and open opportunities for cultural and historic community festivals, events and competitions.
- Museums and interpretative facilities, valuing our native peoples, have been erected along trails they once traveled.
(Source: * Ontario Trails Council, 2003)