7.5 Trail User Preferences


Preference studies have identified attributes that trail users find desirable in greenway trails. These attributes can be used to enhance the recreational experience and increase trail usage.

Key Design Considerations

  • Trails passing through several types of plant communities are generally more preferred.
  • Incorporate waterscapes and historical or cultural elements where possible (e.g., old stone walls, canals).
  • Trails passing through open areas with few trees or distinct features are less preferred. A mixture of open and enclosed areas is desirable.
  • Create a sense of mystery through a curvilinear path alignment.
  • Incorporate other preferred visual elements (see 6.5).
  • Provide trails that are connected, accessible to users, and that encourage multiple uses (see 7.6 to 7.8).
  • Design trails to reduce exposure to noise and air pollution (see 6.3 and 6.4).
  • Create vantage points where users can view wildlife, other trail users, or interesting features.
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