CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — The groups behind a new study on Illinois bicycle trails say they're used by hundreds of thousands of people a year.

And Steve Buchtel of the trail advocacy group Trails for Illinois believes businesses located near those trails could be missing out on an opportunity.

The Southern Illinoisan newspaper in Carbondale ( ) says the study by the trails group and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy focused on six bike trails in the state in 2012. It found that more than 300,000 people use them each year.

About one-third of all trail users spent money during their rides. The average was $30.

But the main way people learned of the trails was word of mouth.

Buchtel believes promotion could mean more economic opportunity.


Information from: Southern Illinoisan,