For recreational, economic, and health benefits as well as alternative transportation options and land use protection.
Recreational benefits: The rail trail will offer free, safe, year-round opportunities for walkers, runners, cyclists, roller-bladers, snowshoers, cross-country skiers, dog owners, equestrians, etc, of all ages, skill levels and abilities, to experience the scenic beauty of Catskill Park and northern Ulster County. In June, 2013, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference released an Economic Impact Study carried out by Camoin Associates, an economic analysis firm in Saratoga Springs. They estimate that the CMRT will bring about 140,000 visitors a year.
Economic Benefits: This Economic Impact Study by Camoin Associates, also estimates that the CMRT will bring roughly $3.1 million in direct and indirect spending to Ulster County and the state of New York. Here is a step by step guide on how communities in Pennsylvania are capturing trail based tourism.
Health Benefits: In Ulster County, nearly 60 percent of adults are overweight or obese, and child obesity rates are climbing. Encouraging increased physical activity is a vital strategy in stemming this growing public health crisis. Studies show that people are more likely to exercise regularly if they live near a rail trail.
Transportation: A rail trail running along the Route 28 corridor is one of the missing links in the vision for a viable non-motorized transportation system in Ulster County. It will give residents and visitors a safe, convenient route for pedestrian and bicycle travel to work, school, etc.
Land Use Protection: The old Ulster & Delaware corridor runs through ecologically important habitants: forests, wetlands, stream-sides and dramatic viewsheds. When people get out on the land and appreciate it, they are inspired to celebrate and protect it.