Rail-trails are paths that follow the routes of abandoned or otherwise out-of-use railroads. They provide a safe, off-road resource for walking, running, bicycling, skating, and other non-motorized uses. Being wide, level (railroads need gentle grades), and connected to communities, they are perfectly suited to people of all ages and abilities, providing tangible benefits for health, safety, historic preservation, active transportation, community pride, and economic development. Rail-trails may be paved, made of crushed rock, or even left as dirt. They range from half a mile to more than 240 miles long.