Exploring Policy Change in the Development of Community Trails

Community trails provide safe, healthy recreation, transportation, and physical activity opportunities for people of all ages. They also connect people with social destinations or points of interest, and ensure sustained opportunity for physical activity.

With funding from Active Living Research and the research framework of the Physical Activity Policy Research Network (PAPRN), a multiple site case study was conducted. The goals of this case study were to identify the policy influences on trail development, explore the roles of key players in trail development, and compare and contrast findings as they relate to the diverse locations and populations. A total of six trails in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Washington were chosen for study. The methodology included examination of historical documentation of trail development and key informant interviews. The links below lead to more information about the methods and results of this study

Interview guide

This guide lists the questions that were asked to the key informants for our study.

Research Brief

This is a brief two-page summary of the trail study and results.

Case-Study Highlight in Planning Magazine

Results from the trail study were highlighted with the other RWJF case studies on policy and physical activity in this article.

Policy Influences on Community Trail Development

This is the full academic report on this study.