Journal of Physical Activity Research
ISSN (Print): 2576-1919 ISSN (Online): 2574-4437 Website: Editor-in-chief: Peter Hart
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Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2020, 5(2), 107-116
DOI: 10.12691/jpar-5-2-7
Open AccessArticle

The Impact of Individual Perception on the Utilization of a Recreational Urban Trail

Sarah E. Mount1, , Anna Tresidder2 and John B. Bartholomew1

1Department of Kinesiology & Health Education, University of Texas - Austin, Austin, Tx 78705

2College of Health Science & Public Health, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA 99004

Pub. Date: November 27, 2020

Cite this paper:
Sarah E. Mount, Anna Tresidder and John B. Bartholomew. The Impact of Individual Perception on the Utilization of a Recreational Urban Trail. Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2020; 5(2):107-116. doi: 10.12691/jpar-5-2-7


Recreational opportunities are associated with increased physical activity if they are conveniently located and feature adequate amenities. A pilot study on an urban trail in Austin, Texas revealed that 40% of the popular trail was underutilized despite adequate access and amenities over the entire length of the trail. The purpose of this study was to expand this research to identify the perceptions that are causing users to avoid the underutilized sections. An online survey measured user perception of 11 trail characteristics and a trail user count sought to replicate earlier findings and supplement the online survey data. Results showed that perception of safety, trail continuity, and route flexibility impacted trail utilization.

urban trail recreation physical activity perception built environment

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