Simple Survey Illuminates Summit Trail Project

Our project is about encouraging the Summit community to use our town’s somewhat hidden hiking trails.  The plans include signage, mapping, and trailblazing.  Native plantings are also envisioned.

The overgrown and often-overlooked trailhead

Before:  The overgrown and somewhat hidden trailhead on New Providence Avenue

To collect data on trail usage, we conducted a survey.    We kept the survey short and simple, including only

Survey on Summit, NJ website

Survey on Summit, NJ website

six questions, to maximize the number of responses.  The survey was publicized by posting a link on the City’s website for three months in  2014.  We were delighted to catalogue 99 responses in that period.

The results of the survey confirmed what we’ve been hearing from our neighbors.  71% of respondents did not know that the City has hiking trails! A mere 24% used the trails in the last year.  And an enthusiastic 93% of respondents said that they’d be likely to hike in Summit if there were maps or signs identifying the trail routes and entrances.

The survey provided us with other valuable information. We collected email addresses from respondents interested in learning more about the trails, including 29 individuals who are eager to help with trail repair.  Not only has the survey helped to quantify trail usage, but it has also served as a powerful tool for increasing awareness of the trails and this project!


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