Electronic trail counters placed at three key locations on Grinnell trails tracked usage from mid-spring to late summer. Counters were placed to measure usage on the trail west of Grinnell-Newburg High School, the trail that passes under Highway 6, and the trail along Arbor Lake. Trail counters do not differentiate user types, i.e. walkers, runners, cyclists, etc.
The highest trail usage point was west of the high school. From mid-June to early September that location averaged 60 daily users. There were eight days where the trail had more than 75 daily users and four dates where the daily use exceeded 110 people.
The daily usage average from May to early September along Arbor Lake was 27 people per day while the new Highway 6 underpass saw an average of 40 people per day.
Local trail enthusiast, Skip Lowe, has used the area bike trails since 2002 and has logged over 20,000 miles on them. He appreciates that they are safe and he notes the route to Rock Creek is very challenging, beautiful, and well maintained. He adds “the trails in Grinnell are awesome for walking with my wife and family.”
The trail counters will be placed at strategic locations along area trails to provide long term usage data. This data can be used to support local, state, and federal funding applications. Trail counters are in use in Marshalltown, Iowa Falls, Hardin County, and Grinnell. Local funding and federal transportation planning funding through Region 6 Planning supported the trail counting equipment purchase.