“Trails consistently remain the number one community amenity sought by prospective homeowners,” according to the National Association of Homebuilders. With trails being such a big draw for potential residents, cities are challenged with a responsibility to appease their citizens and attract new ones. The development of trails improves community life in multiple ways…
The lives we lead today can be particularly stressful and getting active is a common way to relieve stress. Trails allow us to get active while getting a dose of serenity and nature. This improves people’s physical and mental health. Trails are especially important in urban environments where there is less opportunity for outdoor activity, which can lead to increased levels of depression and obesity. Fortunately, that is avoidable as trails provide affordable and universally accessible exercise.
Trails bring visitors to where they wouldn’t typically go. These places have become known as “trail towns”. These are often smaller destinations and communities in which the trail becomes one of their main attractions. If successful, this can help revive local economies and establish certain reputations for your community.
Trails provide safer routes for bicyclists and pedestrians. They offer a controlled environment for exercise and travel. While this is essential for all, the safety of children has received special attention. The “Safe Routes to School” Program focuses on ensuring that children can get to school, biking or walking, in a safe and easy way. This goal is often actualized through the use of trails. Even if this program isn’t a part of your community, trails are still a very important aspect of safely experiencing your town and nature.
Enjoy the Environment
Trails allow for controlled interaction with nature. This is incredibly useful for educational purposes. As explained in How to Raise a Wild Child by Scott Sampson, trails allow children to get out of the classroom and get a “hands on” experience with nature. Trails promote the beauty of nature and help to protect it by controlling foot traffic in sensitive areas.
In conclusion, trails benefit community’s health, economy, safety and the environment. It is important to take all of the aspects into consideration when designing a new project. Trails have the power to transform a community by fostering physical activity, resident interaction, education, and safe exploration of the beautiful world around us.