Author: Charles Tracy
CT Trail Census on NPR
CT NPR–Trail Usage Continues To Spike: Data from the latest report show the biggest user jumps at the Hop River Trail in Bolton, Norwalk River Valley Trail in Wilton, the Air Line Trail in East Hampton and the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail in Hamden.
Connecticut rail trail usage spikes during pandemic
Lori Riley, Hartford Courant article. In a two-hour span on a nice Sunday afternoon in mid-April, John Hankins of Mansfield rode his bike 20 miles on the Charter Oak and Hop River rail trails and passed 530 people. Hankins was counting trail users for Bike Walk Bolton, a local volunteer organization which advocates for pedestrians and cyclists.“It was astounding,” Hankins said. “From everything everybody says, that appears to have been the busiest use of that trail network ever.”
State Parks Reduce Visitor Capacity / Promote Social Distancing
Connecticut DEEP Press Release
Parks as sanctuaries and refuges in times of crisis
Public land managers and health officers are challenged and stressed to make excruciatingly difficult decisions. How do we allow people to use public lands safely right now while being cautious and prudent given the deadly situation we’re in? To Close Or Not to Close? That is the Question! (Nina S. Roberts and Caryl Hart Bay Nature Op-Ed)
Finding Respite on Trails
America’s incomparable system of national scenic, historic, and recreational trails, and closer to home Connecticut’s Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails, are a perfect way to sustain your mental and physical health, while maintaining the social distancing that is required in these challenging times…More
Social Distancing on Trails
This is a good time to get outside:
Guidelines from the National Park and Recreation Association
2019 Data Reports & New Projects in 2020
CT Trail Census 2019 Data Reports & New Projects in 2020
- 2019 Trail Counts (https://bit.ly/2vuHwS0)
- 2019 Trail User Surveys (https://bit.ly/2QqqlIF)
- 2019 Hop River Trail (https://bit.ly/3d9uBpI)
The University of Connecticut (UConn) Extension is pleased to release the latest data on how several of the state’s most popular multi-use trails are being used, and to announce new initiatives the Connecticut Trail Census program is launching in its fourth year. “Connecticut’s trails are among the state’s most scenic and enduring assets,” observed Charles Tracy, coordinator for the Trail Census. “With three years of data collection complete, we now have a much clearer picture of trail use trends on several of the state’s major multi-use trails. New projects in 2020 will leverage existing data to estimate use on other trails, and to help us understand the statewide impacts, including health and economic benefits, of Connecticut’s diverse trails network.”
Data released today includes Trail Census summaries of the 2019 Trail Counts and Trail User Surveys along with an analysis of the impact of the new Hop River Trail connection to Manchester and East Hartford. The Trail Counts report documented 1,544,158 uses or trips recorded across all 20 sites. The most heavily used trails during 2019 were the Naugatuck River Greenway in Derby, Riverfront Recapture Trail in Hartford, and the Hop River Trail in Vernon. The Trail User Survey report found that the majority of trail users visit them frequently: 64.7% use the trails two or more times per week (in 2018 this was 55.7%). The Hop River Trail report showed how a new 3-mile trail connection was the catalyst for an increase in over 10,000 users in one year.
Trail Census projects getting underway in 2020 include research to estimate use on other trails by combining existing Trail Census data and short-term counts; a multi-state conference on bicycle and pedestrian data collection; a new data visualization portal; and preliminary work on creating a statewide trails website, based on similar sites in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
The Connecticut Trail Census is a statewide volunteer-based data collection and education program that operates on trails across the state. The program collects information about trail use through trail use counts recorded by infrared counters and user intercept surveys administered by trained volunteers. The goal is to develop an accurate picture of who uses trails in Connecticut, and to advance and inform new trail policy, design and construction throughout the state. Data is compiled annually and is available online and through public education programs.
Initiated in 2017 as a partnership between UConn Extension, the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments, the Connecticut Greenways Council, and local trails advocacy organizations, the Trail Census has expanded to over 20 data collection sites on trails across the state. The program receives funding from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Recreational Trails Program. For more information or to get involved visit www.cttrailcensus.uconn.edu.
UK Postcard: Walking, Bicycling and Increasing Life Expectancy
How walking and cycling can help to increase healthy life expectancy. An environment that signals receptivity to active travel makes it clear to the person walking and the person cycling that they take precedence.
Ice Climbing in Connecticut?
A Beginner’s Try At Ice Climbing In Southern New England
By PATRICK SKAHILL / Connecticut Public Radio
Each winter, area climbers are drawn to spots like the Catskills in New York or the White Mountains in New Hampshire. But there are pockets of good ice in southern New England, too…more