Along the 21 miles of the Heritage Rail Trail, lie small communities ready to greet you.
Whether a tasty snack, unique lunch spot, or refreshing libation is calling your name, a few moments exploring one of the 5 York County Trail Towns, is time well spent. Following the tracks of the Northern Central Railway, experience the history of the railways, while enjoying modern and trendy accommodations along the way.
From artistic and edgy beauty in Glen Rock, to the bustling businesses of New Freedom, Seven Valleys, and Downtown City of York, to the history of Railroad, we welcome trail users to stop and visit.
Each community welcomes long-distance bikers, families, casual walkers and runners, and many are even pet friendly at their outdoor patios.
Visit a Trail Town today!
What Is a Trail Town?
Trail Towns are communities adjacent to public trails that choose to embrace the trail as an opportunity for economic growth and improved quality of life. Trail Towns programs use an integrated and asset-based, economic development approach that considers each town’s existing resources, it’s character and local businesses to develop a memorable and inviting trail experience for users including residents and out of town visitors alike.
York County Economic Alliance launched the “Trail Towns Program”, to leverage the York Heritage Rail Trail as a platform and driver for economic development in towns located along or near the popular multi-use trail. Partnering with the York County Department of Parks, the York County Rail Trail Authority, Explore York, and our municipal partners, the Trail Towns Program is a collaborative process with outreach to local governments, residents and business owners in order for each town to reach its potential as a vibrant hub for trail users.
Resources for Trail Towns
2021 Virtual Workshop Series:
Trail Friendly Business 101 – Trails Mean Business
April 20, 8:30 a.m. REGISTER HERE
The York County Heritage Rail Trail sees hundreds of thousands of users each year but how many of them are coming through your doors and spending money?
Join us for the first of two workshops on how businesses can leverage nearby trails and other outdoor recreation places to increase foot traffic and revenue.
This first workshop will present useful information on trail-users and outdoor recreationist spending, the demographics and psychographics of the trail user, and how businesses can benefit from being trail-friendly.
Learn about YCEA’s new York County Trail Towns Program and how your business can benefit from becoming more trail-friendly. This is a great starting point for any business located near a trail or in a Trail Town.
Trail Friendly Business 102 – Make the Cash Register Ring!
April 27, 8:30 a.m. REGISTER HERE
The second of two workshops on how businesses can tap into users of the “Great Outdoors” to build affinity, increase sales and become a destination. This workshop will share tips, techniques, and best practices for making your business trail- and recreationist-friendly. Basics of how to market to users, how to work with local government and community groups, and where to find other resources for businesses will get you ready for the Spring and Summer season!
Finally, you will learn all the details and benefits of the new YCEA York County Trail Friendly Business Program and how to apply for designation!
Benefits of Trails
The RTC studies break trail user spending into three categories: “soft goods” (typically food or drink), “hard good” (bike parts, clothing, shoes, etc.) and lodging. Based on the 11 trails reviewed, over 67 % of respondents purchased soft goods while on the trail averaging $19.75 per trip; the Pine Creek Trail in north-central Pennsylvania saw the largest average in “soft goods” expenditure of over $38 per trip. The “hard goods” category had a larger percentage of respondents, with 82% of respondents buying hard goods related to the trail representing an average of $417.82 per user per year.
Reported spending on lodgings is modest because of most trails didn’t experience many overnight stays but across the 11 trails, 9% of respondents paid for overnight lodging near or along the trail with an average spend of nearly $100. It is assumed that a significant percentage of users stayed in campgrounds, lowering the average spending amount in this category.
Want To Learn More?
Contact Silas Chamberlin to learn more and get involved.