Constraints To Trail Use


  • M. Deborah Bialeschki
  • Karla A. Henderson


Trails, trail use, barriers, constraints, outdoor recreation, demand.


Use of recreational trails is difficult to determine. While participation has been shown to be influenced by supply, other factors may influence trail use when analyzed from a broader perspective. The purpose of this paper is to describe the constraints encountered by both users and nonusers of recreational trails. A stratified random sample of 423 individuals from Wisconsin was interviewed by telephone about their use of recreational trails, and 27 percent indicated that they had used at least one recreational trail. The most popular uses were hiking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and biking. Time, lack of information, money, health, and distance from home were the leading barriers for the 32 percent who indicated constraints to their trail use. The data were analyzed to determine the major differences between users and nonusers of trails. Implications for outdoor recreation managers were suggested.





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