FHWA Releases New Rail With Trail Report

The US Department of Transportation recently released Rails-with-Trails: Best Practices and Lessons Learned,  a follow-up to its 2002 rails with trails report.  

The 2002 FHWA report was considered as a key resource for trail champions interested in developing rail-with-trail facilities.

Distribution of Rail-With-Trails Across the US

A color-coded map of the USA showing the number of Rails-with-Trails by state States with 25 Rails-with-Trails are Pennsylvania Illinois and California States with 20-24 are Ohio Wisconsin and Washington States with 15-19 are Michigan and Minnesota States with 10-1 are New York Indiana Iowa and Colorado States with 5-9 are Maine Massachusetts Virginia North Carolina Tennessee Florida Texas and Oregon States with 0 trails are Hawaii Wyoming and Mississippi The rest of the states have 1 to 4 Rails-with-Trails


According to the new publication, there has been a significant growth of these facilities across the United States,

Some of the key findings of the report include:

  • As of 2018, there were 343 identified rails-with-trails in the United States, totaling 917 miles  in 47 States.  In 2002, 30 states  had rail-with-trails.

  • The majority of rails-with-trails (68 percent) are located along Class I, II, or III railroads. 

  • Since 2000 there has been an increasing trend of building rails-with-trails along passenger rail and rail transit lines

Communities continue to look at active railroad corridors as safe, feasible corridors  to provide active transportation facilities for their citizens.