Pennsylvanians not only love their trails, but they also understand the value of trails. In a recent Susquehanna Polling & Research poll commissioned by the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation, 81 percent of registered Pennsylvania voters think that investments in trail improvements, including expanded trails in state parks and state forests, are important to quality of life and economic development in the Commonwealth. The poll found strong support for the importance of these trail investments across party affiliation, ideology, residential setting, gender, ethnicity, and geographic region.

“The strong support for investment in trails aligns with people’s outdoor activities,” said Marci Mowery, President of the Foundation. “Consistently, surveys for the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan have found that hiking and walking/running vie closely for the first and second spots as top ten outdoor activities.”

Yet trails include more than paved walking trails and natural surface hiking trails. Mountain biking and cycling also benefit from a robust trail system. Trails can provide safe access to communities, improve accessibility, connect parks to populations and provide safe routes to school and work.

The Shapiro administration has proposed $8.5 million in investments in DCNR’s trail system to better position Pennsylvania to continue to nurture and take fullest advantage of Pennsylvania’s growing outdoor recreation economy.  According to DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn, these investments will:

  • ensure that DCNR’s most popular trails in our state park and forests are sustainably designed and constructed to manage heavy traffic and withstand severe weather;
  • ensure vigilant maintenance and management;
  • support accessibility improvements that advance DCNR’s mission and strategic priority of “Recreation for All;”
  • leverage outdoor recreation as a tool for economic competitiveness and business and workforce recruitment; and
  • build capacity within DCNR to compete for and administer federal infrastructure funding that could support Pennsylvania’s trail networks.


Trail Investment Support

Trails are a valuable investment in physical and mental health, and in our economy and quality of life. The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation urges the General Assembly to enhance these investments as it completes it work on the 2024-25 fiscal year budget.


About the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation

Founded in 1999, the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation supports 124 state parks and 2.2 million acres of forest by coordinating volunteers, activities, and donations through its 40+ chapters. The foundation’s mission is to inspire stewardship of Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests through public engagement in volunteerism, recreation, and conservation. To learn more about PPFF visit,

Share News

Pennsylvania Residents Support Investment in Trails