Pathways to Happiness, Health and Prosperity.
Florida’s decision this week to set aside $50 million for the creation of a 275-mile cross-state trail is not only great news for those of us who love trails, biking, riding and hiking – it is also a tremendous shot in the arm for thousands of main street businesses and the state’s economy.
Long gone are the days when a “trail” was merely a quiet place to take a leisurely stroll, pedal your bike and appreciate chirping birds and swaying branches. Trails are now multi-million dollar economic engines, critical investments at the heart of an outdoor recreation economy in which Americans spend $646 billion every year, $38.3 billion of that in Florida. Did you know that Americans now spend more money each year on bicycling gear and trips ($81 billion) than they do on airplane tickets and fees ($51 billion)?
Which is why $50 million to create a coast-to-coast trail across Florida is a savvy investment in our state’s tourism infrastructure, and one which will pay for itself many times over in a few short years.
Full story here. Those of you looking for hard data to help make the case for investment in trail systems, there’s some real juicy numbers within.