Circuit Trails Gap Analysis

PEC is working hard to grow the Circuit Trails network, adding trail miles and making the network more accessible and inclusive to more people.

As a leader in the Circuit Trails, we know that trail development is often opportunistic (the metaphorical “low-hanging fruit”) and is carried out by numerous trail builders. The result is often discontinuous trails (gaps), and a lack of trail development in under-resourced communities. For this reason, while it is important to continue to expand the trail network outward, it is sometimes more important to fill gaps within the existing trail network – gaps that may connect miles of trails to one another; provide trail access to under-resourced communities; and connect users to parks, transit, and jobs.

To promote a more systematic approach to filling gaps and to highlight the need to advance trails serving under-resourced communities, PEC launched an effort in 2021 to inventory and analyze the almost 300 trail segments yet to be completed within the Circuit Trails network.

PEC was motivated to undertake this project by the Covid-19 pandemic and the increased urgency to center racial and social justice in our work that was incorporated into the newly adopted Strategic Plan for the Circuit Trails. PEC hopes this tool is useful to advocates and practitioners who promote trail development, apply for project funding, and push forward trail projects. The Gap Analysis Tool aims to demonstrate the real impact of particular projects, and direct funding and attention towards projects that increase justice, equity, and inclusion.



Interested in learning about the Gap Analysis Report and how to use the Mapping Portal? This webinar is a great introduction!

Want to learn more? Read the full report and a blog post summarizing key findings from the report below. 


Gap Analysis of the Circuit Trails Network

A system for prioritizing trail segments in the Circuit Trails Network with a focus on linking expansion and community impact.


Two members of the Circuit Trails Coalition’s task force on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion discuss the Gap Analysis report: Eleanor Horne of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail, and PEC’s Zhenya Nalywayko, who prepared the report.