Trail Funding

The National Forest System Trail Stewardship Partner Funding Program

A joint partnership effort between NWSA and the USDA Forest Service, and you! 

This program is a collaboration of NWSA and the Forest Service, with American Hiking Society, American Trails, Back Country Horsemen of America, International Mountain Bicycling Association, National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, and the American Motorcyclist Association all participating in the rating and selection of projects.  These program funds are provided to trail and stewardship organizations to improve trail maintenance on the National Forest System Trail System.  


*** Selections for 2020 Made  ***

2020 National Forest System Trail Stewardship Partner Funding

Thank you to everyone who expressed support for this program to the Forest Service.  We had 65 proposals submitted.  

The National Forest System Trail Stewardship Partner Funding Program is intended to encourage and support volunteer and stewardship group trail maintenance accomplishments and trail deferred maintenance backlog on the National Forest trail system.  The ideal project proposal will engage volunteers in the accomplishment of trail maintenance over the course of a field season over a broad area of a District or Forest.  

NWSA and our partner organizations are proud to manage this funding program to support the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Partner Funding Program.  This program directly support the implementation of the National Trails Strategy, which has a goal of doubling volunteer trail work in the next decade.  

Here are a few basics of the Trail Funding Program:

  • Any non-profit group recognized by the IRS may apply for Trail Stewardship Funding.
  • These grants are for work on any and all National Forest System terra trails.
  • Trail work is usually performed during the Summer/Fall Field Season (May - December).
  • Grants range from $2,000 - $10,000.
  • Require either a non-federal cash or in-kind match of at least 1:1

Complete information on the Trail Stewardship Partner Grant program can be found in the Fact Sheet.

Click Here for 2020 Funded Proposals Fact Sheet 6.12.2020

Click Here for Fact Sheet.

Click Here for News Release.

Each Application requires an:

Questions about the National Forest System Trail Stewardship Partnership Funding may be addressed to Randy Welsh, Executive Director, NWSA at either 801-808-2167 or randy@wildernessalliance.org.

10 Strategies for a Successful Trail Application

Thank you for your support of NWSA and the National Forest System Trail Stewardship Partnership Fund.

Organizations Funded in 2020 include:

Arizona Trail Association
BCHA-Kentucky
BCHA-Mother Lode Chapter TRTA
BCHA-San Joaquin Chapter
BCHA-Washington - Umatilla
BCHA-Washington - Mt Baker
Blue Mountain Land Trust
Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation
Cascades Volunteers
Chequamegon Mountain Bike
Climbing Resource Advocates for Greater Sacramento
Continental Divide Trail Coalition
Eagle Summit Wilderness Alliance
Friends of Blackwater
Friends of Panthertown
Friends of Scotchman Peaks
Idaho Trail Association
LaVeta Trails
Mountain Bike the Tetons
New Mexico Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance
New Mexico Volunteers for the Outdoors
North Carolina Bartram Trail Society
Northwoods Volunteer Connection
Ojai Valley Land Conservancy
Reno Area Dirtriders
Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association
Salt Lake Climbers Alliance
San Diego Ultra Running Friends
Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund
Selway Bitterroot - Frank Church Foundation
Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship
Upper Merced River Watershed Council
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
Volunteers of Lewis Trails
Washington Trails Association
Watershed Research Center
Wild South
Wildlands Restoration Volunteers
Yavapai Trails Association


Summer of 2019 - No Program


Summer 2018 National Forest System Trail Stewardship Partnership Funded Projects

Final Year End Summary

Trail Projects by Region

Organizations with funded projects during the Summer 2018 Trails Stewardship Program

Alaska Trails
American Endurance Ride Conference
Arizona Trail Association
Back Country Horsemen of America - Mother Lode Chapter
Back Country Horsemen of America - San Joaquin Chapter
Back Country Horsemen of America - Wild Horse Plains Chapter
Boulder Mountain Bike Alliance
Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association
Continental Divide Trail Coalition
Colorado Fourteeners Initiative
Friends of Panthertown
Friends of Pathways
Friends of Scotchman Peak Wilderness
Friends of the Dillon Ranger District
Friends of the Shawnee
Idaho Trails Association
LaVeta Trails
Mazamas
Montana Wilderness Association
Mountain Bike the Tetons
National Smokejumpers Association (2 projects)
Northwoods Volunteer Connection
Partners of Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness
Pony Express Association
Redwoods Park Conservancy
Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards
Selway Bitterroot-Frank Church Foundation
SORBA - NEGA Jake-Bull
South Dakota Trails Development
Upper Merced Watershed Council
Southwest Montana Mountain Biking Association
Stewards of the Sequoias
Tucson Off Road Cyclists
Volunteers For Outdoor Colorado
Wallowa Mountain-Hells Canyon Trails Association
Washington Trails Association
Watershed Research Center
Wild South
Wildlands Restoration Volunteers
Wyoming Wilderness Association
Yosemite South Gate Coalition


Summer 2017

Organizations with funded projects during the Summer 2017 Trails Stewardship Program

  • Alaska Trails
  • Arizona Trail Association
  • BCHA - Idaho Foundation
  • BCHA - Washington
  • Boulder MountainBike Alliance
  • Evergreen MBA
  • Friends of Scotchman Peaks
  • Friends of the Desert Mountains
  • Friends of the Dillon Ranger District
  • Friends of the Shawnee
  • Idaho Trails Association
  • Mountain Bike Missoula
  • Mountain Bike the Tetons
  • Northwoods Volunteer Connection/Friends of Boundary Waters Wilderness
  • Partners of JoyceKilmer-Slickrock
  • Prescott Trail Riders
  • Santa Barbara Trail Bike Volunteers
  • Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship
  • Stewards of the Sequoias
  • Volunteers for Outdoors Colorado
  • Washington Trails Association
  • Wild South

Showing 2 reactions

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  • Elizabeth Pfeiler
    Thank you for offering a Trails Grant opportunity to non-profits like ours. We struggle to fund projects and increase volunteering opportunities in many wilderness areas across our region. This is a wonderful collaborative resource. We applaud your commitment and effort to help public lands.

    -Beth Pfeiler
    United Trail Maintainers of California
  • Randall Rasmussen
    This is great news. And another sign that our friends at the US Forest Service are doing their best to make trails a high priority. Kudos to them and NWSA for creating this opportunity. We hope to see this become an annual granting program that can be leveraged with outside dollars and resources and made to grow each year.
    Randy Rasmussen, Back Country Horsemen of America