From local to regional: Evolution of three multi-use trails in Northeast Iowa
Multi-use trail development in the United States has increased significantly in recent decades. In many communities, trails are recognized as a valuable component of recreation, quality of life amenity, and source of economic development. Trails usually originate as local grassroots projects designed for specific community purposes. In Northeast Iowa, three local projects are evolving into a regional trail system whereas others remain as community resources. The central question in this study is why and how did these local trail projects evolve to become regional destination trails? Case descriptions provide a chronological history of each trail's development. Themes in trail development are derived from review of documents and interviews with key participants. Analysis is conducted within each case and across cases. Discussion is presented according to five themes including motivations and uses, participation and support, actors and actions, funding and implementation, and amenities and resources.