ARDC Kicks Off Paved Trail Economic Impact Study

June 26, 2018

Contact: Charlie Moore

ARDC Kicks Off Paved Trail Economic Impact Study

(Duluth, MN) – The Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC) has launched a study to determine the economic impacts of paved trails in Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Zone.

ARDC will work with trail stakeholders to systematically use electronic counters to determine the number of trail users on four area paved trails within the Coastal Zone – the Duluth Lakewalk, the Willard Munger State Trail, the Gitchi-Gami State Trail, and the St. Louis River Trail.  These counts will be conducted simultaneously with a large-scale trail user survey that will gather information regarding user habits and their impacts on the coastal economy.

Results of the trail usage studies and user survey will be analyzed and correlated to develop an accurate assessment of the economic impact of the paved trails. This information can be used to gain support from local municipalities, businesses, adjacent property owners, and other stakeholders; and strengthen requests for funding for trail development, maintenance, and amenities in the Coastal Zone.

Residents and visitors should watch for survey stations on the trails throughout the summer.  Participants will be rewarded with refreshments and a small gift.

The study has been funded by Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program, ARDC, the Metropolitan Interstate Council, and the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs.  More information about the study can be found at:

ARDC is a multi-disciplined planning and development organization serving the northeast Minnesota counties of Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis.

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