Central Alberta Regional Trails Society

Connecting Communities . . .
Actively, Safely,
Enjoying the great outdoors

About CARTS Trails of Central Alberta Media News Benefits of Trails Resources Contact

Benefits of Trails

The large number of benefits of recreational trails in Central Alberta far outweigh the perceived challenges.

The three primary benefits of trails, both urban and rural, are recreation, fitness and alternate transportation. But there are several other benefits including many economic spinoffs, safety, quality of life, preservation of the environment, social interaction, educational opportunities, and an appreciation of heritage, culture and the rural way of life.

Economic Benefits
   - Tourism opportunities include bed and breakfasts, hotels, restaurants, campgrounds, recreational facilities,
   - Purchase of goods include bicycles, hiking gear, boots and shoes, roller blades, energy foods, souvenirs, refreshments,
      binoculars, etc.
   - Properties adjacent to trails typically have a higher resale value
   - Tourism and retail sales create  jobs
   - Fosters eco- and agri-tourism
Health and Fitness Benefits
   - Fitness is one of the most important factors influencing lifestyle choices
   - Access to regular physical activity promotes health
   - Walking, biking and jogging are among the top most popular fitness activities
   - Trails encourage people to bicycle to work as well as to recreational and educational facilities
   - Increase in exercise lessens health-related problems leading to decrease in health care costs
   - Trail users experience peace of mind and relaxation reducing stress

Safety Benefits
   - Trails discourage children and adults using busy streets and highways to bicycle and walk
   - Safe and secure place for recreational activity

Environmental Benefits
   - Environmental quality is one of the most important factors influencing lifestyle choices
   - Protects and preserves the environment, including watersheds
   - Trail use reduces air pollution
   - Green space and trails often act as natural buffers of different land use or natural areas and developed areas
   - Preservation of natural landscapes

Quality of Life Benefits
   - People working together to fulfill a common vision
   - A viable alternative form of transportation

Educational Benefits
   - Field trips for students studying biology, ecology, history, art, culture
   - Importance of preserving wildlife habitats, ecological systems
   - Brings young and old closer to nature and historical roots

Social Benefits
   - Accessible to all income brackets and all age groups
   - Trail activities are relatively inexpensive eg. bird watching, walking, cycling, etc.
   - Opportunities to promote rural way of life
   - Year round use includes walking and rollerblading in summer and snow shoeing in winter
   - Slower pace provides more time to enjoy and interact with the environment and the community
   - Meet and greet other users that could lead to more friendships
   - Partnerships between users, neighbouring municipalities, residents, advocacy groups, local governments create a sense of
      community and common good
   - Spending quality time with friends and family
Heritage and Cultural Benefits
   - Links to historic and cultural sites
   - Potential for interpretive centres, festivals, competitions and other events
   - Greater awareness of the history of a region
   - Creates or enhances regional identity
   - Protects rural legacy



CARTS brochure

Trails of Central Alberta
TransCanada Trail in Central Alberta
Urban Trails
Rural Trails
Rails to Trails


Current Media News
Media Headlines & Links:
2008 to 1997


President's Reports:

Benefits of Trails
Friends of CARTS
History of CARTS
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CARTS Brochure                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       website developed by Paul Pettypiece