Rural Trail Analysis

Spring Lake trail for webDetailed Area Plan Sub-Study

As part of the Detailed Area Plan, Scott County Community Development prepared a sub-study related to a proposed regional trail search area segment (as identified in the 2030 Comprehensive Plan) within the DAP study area. The purpose of the sub-study was two-fold:

  1. To develop a set of guidelines that can be applied in planning and development of the regional trail system through the rural portions of the county
  2. Apply these guidelines to the regional trail search area within the DAP study area

Policy Focus Group

A rural trail policy focus group was held in December 2008 to gather public input from residents of the DAP study area on what type of policy considerations should be made in determining desired trail alignments. Policy topics considered included:

  • Reasons/basis for trails
  • Trail alignments and potential impacts to adjacent land uses
  • Acquisition strategies
  • Trail design and construction
  • Trail operations and management

Input from the focus group, along with the DAP Project Management Team and Scott County Parks Advisory Commission, helped develop the trail guidelines.


The guidelines were then applied to the DAP study area, resulting in preferred and alternative trail alignments shown for the proposed regional trail. The preferred alignment is primarily an off-road trail connecting to lakes, wetlands, Natural Area Corridors, and other quality natural resource features. An alternative alignment generally follows roadways and could be utilized for temporary trail sections between uncompleted segments of the preferred alignment. A majority of the preferred alignment currently crosses through undeveloped private parcels.


The study recommends the trail corridor be preserved as part of the development process. This may take decades to complete. Along with the Natural Area Corridors and Public Values Incentive Programs, density bonuses may be provided in exchange to help protect the trail corridor, and potentially construct portions of the trail for integration into neighborhoods.

Trail Study Documents