The cyclists, walkers, and runners who use the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail know that more people are taking advantage of the trail to improve their health and quality of life. Likewise, business owners located on or near the trail can attest to the amazing economic impact the trail has had on their revenues. Now, the Year Two results from a multi-year study conducted by Furman University Professor Julian Reed provide some hard numbers to back up these anecdotes.
Conducted between July 2011 and June 2012, the study included observations of almost 18,000 trail users, 1,500 in-person surveys, over 700 random phone surveys, two focus groups of trail users, and interviews with twenty local business managers/owners. (For more information about the Year One study results, see the 2012 Upstate Advocate.)
The study was released at a press event held on June 18 at Greenville Fitness & Rehab, a new business located on the Swamp Rabbit Trail in the Berea area. Findings include:
The study shows that the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail continues to promote healthy, active lifestyles while making a positive contribution to the local economy. With such encouraging results from the first two years of the study, we hope communities across the region will be inspired to create and expand their own local trail networks.