BACKGROUND: McMinn County residents report a greater number of poor mental and physical health days/month and a higher rate of physical inactivity compared to the average Tennessee state resident. Recent evidence finds that trail users report higher physical activity (PA) levels and greater well-being (WB) than trail non-users. The purpose of this study was to assess how trail use may impact PA and mental WB in a rural Tennessee county. METHODS: Self-report surveys were accessed by McMinn County trail users via a QR code on signage (12 signs) placed along the community trail system or via a link shared through local social media pages. Questions assessed general health, trail use, and PA behaviors. Mental WB was assessed using the 7-question Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale. Descriptive statistics summarized survey responses. Additionally, t-tests and chi-square analysis compared trail users poor mental and physical health days/month, and overall health status to McMinn County level data. RESULTS: Of the 127 survey respondents included in the analysis, most were female (68.5%), white (92.1%), and college graduates (63.0%). The mean age of respondents was 47.3±15.5 years with a mean body mass index of 28.2±5.9 kg/m2. Overall, 78.0% of respondents lived within 15-min of their primary trail, but only 9.4% used active transportation to access the trail. When on the trail (average of 8.8±7.0 days/month and 77.6±38.1 minutes/visit), walking was the most popular activity (63.8%), followed by running (18.1%) and cycling (13.4%). 77.2% of respondents met the recommended 150 minutes/week of moderate-intensity aerobic PA, with only 15.0% reporting low mental WB. Trail users experienced fewer poor mental health days/month (5.1 vs 3.9, p=.08), fewer poor physical health days/month (3.8 vs 2.4, p=.01), and a lower proportion reported poor or fair health (17.0% vs 12.6%, p=.24) compared to McMinn County data. CONCLUSIONS: These trails contribute towards meeting the PA guidelines and to positive physical and mental health benefits for those who use them. Trail use should be promoted as a way to obtain physical and mental health benefits. Future research should compare trail users and trail non-users to better quantify the impact of trail use on PA and WB.

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