Cheese Country Trail Survey


Exploring the Economic Impacts of the Cheese Country Trail

This collaborative effort of local groups and UW-Extension was designed to assess how many people are using the Cheese Country Trail, the user characteristics, and the user perceptions of trail conditions. The final report is an overall evaluation of local economic impacts of this important recreational asset.

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About the Study

The University of Wisconsin Extension and dozens of volunteers began collecting information regarding people who use the Cheese Country Trail in November 2010.  Information was collected using 1,000 randomly selected 2-hour time slots during the 12 month survey period.  Eight intercept locations were chosen along the trail in Monroe, Browntown, South Wayne, Gratiot, Darlington, Calamine, Belmont, and Mineral Point.

“The goal of the survey was to collect a representative sample of users and use pressure of the Cheese Country Trail along the more than 48 mile route from Monroe to Belmont and Mineral Point,” said UW-Extension Recreation Planning Specialist Dave Marcouiller.  “We did this through observation and intercept surveys.”

Because we surveyed hundreds of trail users between November 2010 and October 2011, local users were made aware they may be chosen to fill out a survey,” added Tri-County Trails Committee member Jerry Guth.  “Two trail users in each randomly selected two-hour slot were asked a series of fourteen questions.  Answering the questions took about five to ten minutes.”

Survey questions included information about trail usage; other activities in which the individual  participated in on the trip; amount of money spent while on a trip; satisfaction with the trail; and demographic information such as age, schooling, household income and zip code.  The Tri-County Trails Committee plans to use the results of the study to improve trail experiences for future users.  The committee will also provide the resulting information to local communities, businesses and counties to help create economic development related to the trail and its users.  For more information regarding the Cheese Country Trail plans and backgrounds,  please review the Sampling and Intercept Scheme.

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Victoria Solomon
Community Resource Development Educator
608-328-9440          Email: