A Gap Analysis of the Service Area of West Virginia’s Trail Network

Authors

  • Matt Kearns WV Department of Environmental Protection
  • Jinyang Deng Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Resources Program School of Natural Resources West Virginia University

Keywords:

Trail, Gap analysis, GIS, West Virginia

Abstract

Good trail infrastructure supports the physical and economic health of communities. However, trails – and access to their benefits – are not always evenly distributed. Ensuring equitable access to infrastructure like trails, and the corresponding positive health and economic outcomes, is part of the growing consciousness of environmental justice and recreationally “underserved” communities. In view of this, this study examines the service area of West Virginia’s trail network (both existing and proposed) using the ArcGIS Network Analyst tool. Results show that with a 10-mile service area, the proposed trails of 2,577 miles (or 65% increase in trail mileage) only increase the geographical extent of the service area by 8% and the demographic extent of the service area by 5%, reinforcing the existing regional trail disparities. This study helps recreation planners prioritize projects/resources and identify gaps.

Author Biographies

Matt Kearns, WV Department of Environmental Protection

Matt Kearns is an Environmental Resources Specialist with West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. He holds MS in Multidisciplinary Studies in hydrology, resource management, GIS, and recreation and tourism planning from West Virginia University.

Jinyang Deng, Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Resources Program School of Natural Resources West Virginia University

Jinyang Deng is Professor in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Resources at West Virginia University. He holds Ph.D. in Recreation & Leisure Studies from the University of Alberta. His current research interests focus on GIS, ecotourism, rural tourism, and urban forests.

Downloads

Published

2019-10-15

How to Cite

Kearns, M. and Deng, J. (2019) “A Gap Analysis of the Service Area of West Virginia’s Trail Network”, e-Review of Tourism Research, 17(1). Available at: https://journals.tdl.org/ertr/index.php/ertr/article/view/472 (Accessed: 16January2021).

Issue

Section

Articles