Date of Award

Spring 2018

Project Type


Program or Major

Recreation Management and Policy

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Robert J Barcelona

Second Advisor

Nate E Trauntvein

Third Advisor

Cindy L Hartman


Trails are an important resource for local communities because they provide health, social, economical, and environmental benefits (“Headwaters Economics”, 2016). When trails are made accessible in towns, it facilitates communal connection, draws in tourists, increases support for conservation lands, and creates safer trails. Trails are valuable to towns because they are an integral piece of their livelihood, therefore the management of trails should be researched to understand how to sustain public use. For this study, twelve (N = 12) conservation commissioners, town managers, and other trail stakeholders from two counties in a Northeastern state were interviewed about how they manage their trails. Results of the study were analyzed and coded, utilizing a marketing theory called PESTEL. Six PESTEL categories were used to interpret stakeholder comments on how trails are managed. The findings of the research show how managing and marketing trails to promote access and use could potentially maximize trail benefits for town communities.