New survey: Number of people using local trails is staggering

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Dayton is home to over 330 miles of paved bike trails throughout Southwest Ohio. Here's the best ones nominated in the 2016 Best of Dayton survey. (Video by Tabatha Wharton)

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Miami Valley region boasts the nation’s largest paved recreation trail network: 340 miles connecting more than 40 communities in 11 counties.

And every four years since 2009, the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission and other agencies have conducted a Trail User Survey and Count and put the data into a graphic presentation called Tale of the Trails.

Here are some of the key findings from the most recent survey released Friday.

The numbers: 

  • Every year, more than 91,000 unique visitors travel the trails, accounting for more than 793,000 annual trail visits.
  • 96 percent of trail users rate the cleanliness of the trails as good or excellent.
  • 93 percent of trail users rate the safety and security of the trails as good or excellent.
  • 30 percent of area residents live within a half mile of the trails network, and 45 percent of regional jobs are within a half mile of the trails.

Who uses the trail?

A Dayton sewer access road between Patterson and Shroyer roads has been converted into a new section of a bikeway. The section is part of work, now open, that completes a network from the University of Dayton south to I-675 in Centerville. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF
A Dayton sewer access road between Patterson and Shroyer roads has been converted into a new section of a bikeway. The section is part of work, now open, that completes a network from the University of Dayton south to I-675 in Centerville. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF

Credit: Chris Stewart

Credit: Chris Stewart

  • 55 percent bicyclists, 23 percent walkers, 22 percent other (jogging/running, walking pets, roller blade/skating, cross-country skiing).
  • More than 71 percent use the trails weekly during the summer.
  • Trail users are 62 percent male, 38 percent female.
  • 68 percent trail users are 46 years old or older.
  • 12 percent used the trail with children under the age of 15.

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