We've been collecting information and testimonials about similar trails elsewhere. Some of these describe remarkable transformations of small towns. If we experience just a fraction of the success they've had, we'll be doing very well.
This chart shows the ridership on the train within Warren County in 2014 (and for the Adirondack Scenic Railroad in a good year), compared to the usage of similar trails elsewhere. We recently put a counter on the Warren County Bikeway, and can estimate about 100,000 annual uses. (Note that for both railroad and trail counts, round trips count as two.)
One of our favorite testimonials is for the Swamp Rabbit Trail in South Carolina. Its formal name is the Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail, recognizing that it is a major public-health benefit to the surrounding communities. That's not all, of course: the city administrator of one of those communities says "We've probably quadrupled the number of downtown businesses."
Here is a collection of testimonials about similar trails, courtesy of ARTA and Dick Beamish: