|Rail trails are for everyone.|
Another benefit of rail trails is their versatility. Not only are they an ideal fit for nearly all possible riders, regardless of age, size, or ability, they are also versatile when it comes to equipment. Nearly any type of cycle will work on most rail-trails. Personally, I have ridden recumbents, mountain bikes, cruisers, road bikes, and hybrid bicycles on rail trails. And I was quite comfortable in all instances. (Sometimes road bikes are less-than-ideal on dirt or gravel trails, so I use one of the other types of bikes for those trails.)
It's nice to know that you don't need something fancy, expensive, or technical to enjoy the vast network of rails-to-trails out there. Not only is it physically possible to ride just about any type of non-motorized wheeled vehicle on the rail trail network, but it's also socially acceptable. Unlike road and mountain biking, there is no expectation that you wear certain clothes and ride expensive bikes. Rail trails are like the great equalizer. Everyone from all backgrounds and socioeconomic groups is welcome. Spandex or no spandex, fancy bike or plain Jane bike, you're accepted just the way you are.
Ya gotta love rail trails.