This month, NCCOR released a new program brief titled “Increasing the Health and Physical Activity of Youth from Under-Resourced Communities through Trail Programs.” The brief is based on a review of gray literature sources (e.g., websites, government or organizational reports, success stories) to identify programs promoting trail use among youth that are accompanied by process or outcome evaluation data. We identified nine U.S.-based programs promoting trail use among youth. The programs include a variety of programs on walking and hiking, overnight camping, and biking on trails. This resource is geared towards public health practitioners as it identifies strengths including programs’ reach and scalability, focus on under-resourced communities, and evaluations and outlines future considerations for improving programs and youth trail use in general.
This brief complements a scientific review NCCOR published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The scientific review identified evaluated programs and policies that effectively promote and increase the use of trails among youth, especially those from under-resourced neighborhoods and communities. These communities are often predominantly made up of residents from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.
One of NCCOR’s major goals is to address health disparities related to nutrition, physical activity, and obesity. This brief was supported by NCCOR members from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, in collaboration with staff from the Federal Highway Administration, to explore the use of trails by youth as a health-enhancing behavior to engage in outdoor recreational physical activity.
For more information on the Increasing Opportunities for Trail Use to Promote Physical Activity and Health Among Underserved Youth workgroup, visit www.nccor.org/physical-activity/trail-use.