During stay at home orders, people have flocked to trails and outdoor recreation spaces in record numbers, and the latest data from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources shows that not only was there an uptick in outdoor recreation, but that this increase was sustained.
Across the D&L Trail, trail counters recorded an average monthly increase of 88% compared to the previous year. Additionally, trail counts since June show that monthly trail use in 2020 has consistently exceeded even busiest months of 2019.
In Bucks County, trail counters along the D&L Trail recorded monthly percent increases as high as 166% this year. Local businesses that participate in the D&L’s Trail Friendly Business program have reported an inability to keep bicycles, kayaks and other outdoor recreation items stocked.
“In 2020 we had record high trail counts,” said Brian Greene, Director of Trails & Conservation and Data Scientist for the D&LNHC. “This highlights the critical role of the D&L Trail as an essential place for the public during the covid-19 pandemic.”
The D&LNHC has provided respite and economic stimulation for communities in the five-county corridor. As the region and nation faces the continued impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the D&L Trail continues to be a safe and accessible space to recreate, year-round.
The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (D&L) is both a nonprofit organization preserving the historic pathway that carried coal and iron from Wilkes-Barre to Bristol to fuel America’s Industrial Revolution, and a multi-use trail spanning 165 miles from the mountains of northeast Pennsylvania through Bucks County.