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Trail Accelerator Grants

Trail Accelerator Grants

Catalyzing more trails close to home is critical to IMBA's mission, and we wish to accelerate the pace of trail building in the U.S. Many communities have the interest and political support to develop mountain bike facilities and trail systems, but lack funding and/or knowledge to jump-start efforts. IMBA’s new Trail Accelerator Grant will support communities with visions for model trails in typically under-served states. The application period will open again in Fall 2019.

Thank you
Made possible by Tom and Steuart Walton, who generously provided the seed funding for this grant.
Photo courtesy of: Liz Chrisman

More trails close to home

This collaboration with Tom and Steuart Walton and other foundations is poised to become IMBA’s largest trail fund in history. The potential to launch more trail development across the U.S. in places where people live is exponentially greater than ever before, and we’re proud to be leading the charge on such an effort. 

The Trail Accelerator Grant is a competitive grant offering for communities wanting to get started on building better places to ride. Awardees will receive professional trail planning and consultation services to launch their trail development efforts, which can often help leverage more interest and investment for community trail projects.


Current Trail Accelerator Grant recipients include Mountain Creek Park in Hixon, Tennessee; De Queen Lake Trails in De Queen, Arkansas; and Grandma’s Gateway in La Crosse, Wisconsin. All three projects have the potential to transform nearby communities through trails. This will lead to increased local access that offers health benefits to residents, while having opportunities to expand into larger, destination-worthy trail systems.

Current projects

Trail Accelerator Grants, in detail

There are two types of grants. Each requires a one-to-one match and awards professional, technical planning services, not cash. The application period will open again in Fall 2019.

Single-Site Trail Plan Grants

Do you have one spot where you'd like to offer mountain biking opportunities? This grant provides a detailed site-specific plan for one park or facility, which may include a conceptual layout of one or more individual trails.

  • These grants will generally be awarded in amounts from $5,000 - $15,000, each.


Community-Wide Trail Plan Grants

Does your entire community, or a regional location, want to develop mountain biking opportunities? This grant provides a comprehensive assessment of the feasibility of mountain bike trail development across multiple parks/facilities. Includes an assessment of opportunities and constraints and phasing recommendations. 

  • These grants will generally be awarded in amounts from $15,000 - $30,000, each. 


What types of projects will be considered?

  • Projects that serve mountain bikers as the primary users, though multi-purpose human-powered trail uses are eligible to apply.
  • Projects that will result in a visible and substantial increase in access, improved mountain bike experiences, and greater community benefit. 
  • Projects where the Trail Accelerator Grant stands to leverage additional resources to ensure the success of the project.
  • Projects that promote community development along with the specific project, including volunteer recruitment and support, new rider development and youth engagement. Higher preference will be given to projects that demonstrate a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
  • Higher preference will be given to projects that involve high-functioning local mountain bike organizations, especially ones in the IMBA Local Program. Though, it should be noted, IMBA Local organizations cannot apply for the grants, themselves. 
  • NOTE: A declined request does not imply that the applicant’s trail project is not needed or valued, but that it does not fall within our giving guidelines and/or priorities, or that funds are not available.


Applying for a grant

Each grant is an award of in-kind professional services, not cash, and requires a one-to-one match. The application process will open again in Spring 2019.

  • All communities interested in applying for a Trail Accelerator Grant must submit a completed application. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
  • Calls will be scheduled with some applicants to further discuss their proposals.  
  • Each awardee will be assigned a project manager who will coordinate the site visit, evaluation and report. 
  • All awardees will be required to announce the receipt of the grant in a formal press release, on social media outlets, and on the site of the trail project (if applicable) as agency policy permits. 
  • Organizations can only apply once per calendar year. 


Who can apply

Local, municipal, state or federal government agencies, and 501(c)3 nonprofits that actively manage parks and trails may apply. The agency/organization must be able to provide the appropriate matching funds.

The following are not eligible to apply: for-profit businesses (such as ski resorts), religious organizations for religious purposes, private foundations, political causes/candidates/legislative lobbying groups, IMBA Local organizations including IMBA Chapters. However, higher preference will be given to projects that involve high-functioning local mountain bike organizations.


Meet the team

Jessica grew up exploring the desert surrounding Las Vegas and always desired adventure. She chose to serve over 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, traveling throughout the United States and around the world. In 1994, while living in the San Francisco area, she picked up her first mountain bike and has never looked back.

Meet our team
Jessica Rockson

Program Director


Support Mountain Biking

Our vision is that everyone has a place to ride a mountain bike. You can help make that happen!
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