Funding sustainable paddle trail development: Paddler perspectives, willingness to pay and management implications

Carol Kline, David Cardenas, Lauren Duffy, Jason R. Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Paddle sports (kayaking, canoeing) are a growing tourism niche and an activity that can bring sustainable rural tourism development and economic regeneration. Managing sustainable paddle trail growth is complex, involving coordination among government bodies, consensus from landowners and funding acquisition for safe access sites, signage, maps and other amenities. This paper explores the paddle-trail-related literature and the many different funding options to manage the creation and maintenance of paddle trails. An Internet survey of 1851 respondents determined support for a variety of user funding mechanisms for trail development as well as paddler perceptions about trail development as a viable form of economic development. The results indicate that women and recreational paddlers are more likely to support funding mechanisms, in addition to paddlers who consider paddle trail development a form of economic development. Paddlers who did not support any user funding mechanism were male, employed in the private sector, avid paddlers, and those who owned boats. It is observed that awareness of paddle trails' value as an economic regeneration tool increases the willingness to pay. A range of management implications from this research are discussed, including information and educational programs, marketing partnerships and targeted incentive offers to those groups that are unwilling to pay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-256
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • economic development
  • fees
  • funding
  • paddle trail
  • resource management
  • tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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