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Press Release

Tri-State Trails Releases Trail Usage Estimates

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 by Wade Johnston

Cincinnati, OH – Over 11.1 million miles were traveled on multi-use trails around Greater Cincinnati.  On average, 250 trips were taken on the trails each day. The Purple People Bridge was the most frequently used trail in the tri-state, averaging 1,897 uses per day.

The data above are just a sample of those collected in 2017 and then analyzed by Tri-State Trails and Interact for Health in collaboration with experts from the University of Minnesota. The numbers are part of a larger effort to develop a comprehensive, multi-year trail monitoring program for Greater Cincinnati.  

Trail usage data were collected using passive infrared counting technology at 78 locations spanning 136 miles of trail between January 1 and December 31, 2017.  The data were used to generate metrics for Average Annual Daily Trail Traffic and Trail Miles Traveled for the network. The study also surveyed over 730 trail users on the trails from August to October 2017.  

Findings of note include:

  • 58% of trail users visited the trail to walk or run, compared to 40% who visited to bike.
  • The overwhelming majority of trail users, 92%, feel safe on the trail.
  • Although most people are currently using the trail network for recreation—about 88% versus 8% for transportation—58% of trail users said they would commute more by walking or biking if trails and bike lanes were better connected to their place of work.

“If we provide individuals with a safe option to bike or walk to destinations like employment centers, more people will choose to not drive.” said Wade Johnston, Director of Tri-State Trails at Green Umbrella.  “Several trail projects are in development that will transform the landscape and empower people to make that choice, like the Wasson Way extension into Uptown, the Little Miami Scenic Trail Beechmont Bridge, and the Riverfront Commons trail in Northern Kentucky.”

For over 35 trail managing agencies, the data collected by Tri-State Trails are the first glimpse at quantifying use on trails in their jurisdiction.  Collectively, Greater Cincinnati now has a comprehensive understanding of regional trail use for 2017. The trail monitoring program enables trail managers and advocates to communicate this information to elected officials, decision makers, and the public to justify future investment.  

Tri-State Trails is in the process of analyzing trail use data from 2018, in partnership with the University of Cincinnati, and plans to release the results in mid-2019.  Data collection efforts are underway for 2019. To view the full Trail Monitoring Program report, visit

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