The East Coast Greenway has universal appeal and is designed to accommodate tourists, locals, and users of all abilities.
Tourists and the East Coast Greenway
As a continuous long-distance route, the Greenway provides a new tourism venue that will entice domestic and foreign tourists to explore the eastern seaboard in a leisurely and "up-close" manner. An alternative to I-95 for muscle-powered travelers, it offers a way to see this most urbanized and historical of American corridors. So, tourists, whether for short excursions, weekends or longer trips, will be primary users of the East Coast Greenway. As we provide wayfinding tools – signage, maps, and guides – the number of tourists using the Greenway will rapidly grow. ECG tourism can have significant impact on local economies.
Locals and the East Coast Greenway
The Greenway also has an important local role, serving as a close-to-home facility for the 45 million people who live within the Greenway's home counties. For them, the trail functions as a kind of Central Park for the region. For many, just out their back door, the Greenway is a safe place to walk, jog, bicycle, skate, ski, horseback ride, bird watch, fish, push the baby carriage or just stroll with friends. The Greenway can provide an escape, a tranquil place for some quiet time alone. Children can use it to walk to school or get to the park, adults can commute to work, and everyone will find it a well-located spot for an hour of exercise or a weekend outing.
A Recreational Route with Universal Appeal
People of all ages and abilities enjoy ECG trails, such as the Route 9A Bike/Ped Path in NYC, for recreation, exercise, commuting, running errands, and more.
The Greenway is not designed for those seeking a high-speed cycling route. A multitude of on-road routes better serve their needs. But, as a traffic-free, relatively flat route, the Greenway is a safe facility for people of all ages and physical abilities, including children, families, and the elderly.
Being entirely on public right-of-way, the Greenway will be free and accessible to all. People with disabilities will especially appreciate a safe place for active outdoor experiences. It offers a transportation alternative for those whose independence is compromised in our car-dependent culture: children, the disabled, the elderly, and those who do not wish to own or cannot afford a car. With fluctuating gasoline prices, that segment of the population is growing. Importantly, the Greenway is easily accessible by millions of people via public transportation (train stations, major airports, commuter rail, subway, and bus stations dot the route), and a growing network of trails and bicycle routes along the coast enable easy access for much of the region.
Winding from city to city through urban centers, urban neighborhoods, suburban communities, and rural areas, users will come from all of these populations. Urban dwellers in particular, distant from traditional back-country trails, will value this public open space that provides a convenient place for recreation and a means to get away to the country without car dependence. The Greenway goes directly through many underserved urban neighborhoods, providing sorely needed access and recreational opportunities for people in these communities.
To find out which sections of the Greenway are currently appropriate for various types of users, visit our Trip Planner.