The Shoreline Greenway Trail at Hammonasset Beach State Park is one of 15 trails participating in a study intended to help the state, trail organizations and towns better understand who’s using trails and why, what economic impact trails have on their communities, what amenities users want, and how trails can be most soundly built and maintained.
Information from the Connecticut Trail Census, which will be conducted through the end of 2017, will be made public. It is expected to provide trail advocates with data to help promote the value of trails in their communities.
Data is being collected around the clock by an infrared counter at Hammonasset, with analysis done in waves throughout the year. A team of trained SGT volunteers is assisting the project by monitoring and calibrating the counter and by conducting face-to-face surveys on the trail. The raw data collected to date suggests that the Hammonasset section of the Shoreline Greenway Trail is one of the most heavily used in the state.
The sites participating are all paved or crushed stone, multi-use trails. They were chosen for the program based on their leadership, volunteer participation, ability to administer counters and collect data, connections to other trails and amenities, trail length, and demonstration of how trail managers plan to use and communicate the data collected.
The census is being conducted in a partnership involving the Connecticut Greenways Council; Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments; UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources’ Department of Extension and the Center for Land Use Education and Research; and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
If you’d like to be part of the project, especially by helping conduct on-site user surveys, contact Ginny Raff, chairperson of the Shoreline Greenway Trail’s Madison team.