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Grants to Massachusetts Nonprofits and Agencies to Develop and Maintain Outdoor Paths for Sports and Leisure Activities


Geographic Focus

USA: Massachusetts

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MassTrails Grant

Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) - MassTrails

Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #164571

Grant Description

Grants to Massachusetts nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and communities for programs and capital projects to encourage outdoor activities for local residents and tourists. Funding is intended to develop, design, construct, and maintain recreational trails and pathways. Projects must take place on publicly accessible land.

Eligible grant activities include project development, design, engineering, permitting, construction, and maintenance of recreational trails, shared use pathways, and the amenities that support trails. Eligible project activities can include: 

  • Trail planning, design, engineering, and permitting;
  • Construction of new trails;
  • Maintenance and restoration of existing trails;
  • Development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead amenities;
  • Purchase and lease of trail-related construction and maintenance equipment;
  • Acquisition (in limited cases) of easements and fee interest in property for trail corridors.

For information about Grant Criteria and Preferred Specifications, see:

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  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

MassTrails Grants are available to municipalities, state or federal agencies, tribal governments, other governmental agencies, and non-profit organizations.

Sidewalks and/or road improvements are not eligible as trail projects under this program.

Ineligible project costs include, but are not limited to, costs associated with the preparation and submission of a grant application, administrative supplies/equipment and the purchase of food.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be received by 11:59 pm on February 1 of each year.

Notification to applicants on the status of their grant application is expected to be on or about 200 days after the grant application deadline. All applicants will be notified by email and informed of the status of their proposed project (approved or not).

MassTrails grants are reimbursable, meaning grantees must first pay for expenditures themselves and then submit for reimbursement using the required documentation.

MassTrails grants are matching grants and require that proponents provide a minimum of 20% of the total project cost. Projects with higher match commitments will be given greater consideration.

Eligible projects require documented landowner permission and community support.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that any necessary permits (e.g. Natural Heritage, Mass Historic, Wetlands Protection Act) are in place prior to beginning any work on the project.

Application information:

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $500,000

Term of Contract:

The effective start date of a contract (grant award) shall be the latest of the following dates: the date the Standard Contract Form has been executed by an authorized signatory of the contractor and the procuring department; the date of secretariat or other approval(s) required by law or regulation; or a later date specified in the Standard Contract Form. The earliest start date for a MassTrails grant project will generally be on or after July 1.

Most project development and design projects will have one year to complete all spending and match under the grant, with funding available within the state fiscal year (July 1 to June 30 of the following year). Trail construction and maintenance projects may be permitted a longer timeframe of up to two years, dependent on the scope and specifications of the project.

Contact Information:

Apply online:

Amanda Lewis, MassTrails Program Manager
Department of Conservation and Recreation
136 Damon Road
Northampton, MA 01060

Libby Knott
MassTrails Grants Coordinator, Department of Conservation and Recreation

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