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Trail Accelerator Grants

Trail Accelerator Grants

To grow the quantity and quality of mountain bike trail communities, we need to accelerate the pace of trail building. Trail Accelerator grants provide a jump-start to communities that have the interest and political support to develop trail systems, but need assistance to get projects up and running. A Trail Accelerator grant offers awardees professional trail planning and consultation services to launch their trail development efforts, which can often leverage additional investment from local, regional, and national partners.

Trails, trail planning, woods, Wisconsin, autumn
La Crosse, Wisconsin
A shared-use trail system that will restore the landscape, encourage healthy and safe recreation, and provide inclusive and equal local access.
Grandma's Gateway
Woods, Tennesee, Large Rock, Trail Planning
Chattanooga, Tennessee
An urban recreation experience less than 10 miles from city center with beginner to expert mountain biking, exceptional bouldering, and hiking trails.
Mountain Creek Park
Arkansas, waterfall, trail plan, nature, leaves
De Queen, Arkansas
The progressive trails around De Queen Lake will bring health, economic, recreation, and conservation benefits to an entire community.
De Queen Lake
Group, map, trail planning, route finding
Erwin, Tennessee
Located just blocks away from the local high school and downtown, the first bike park in Unicoi County will connect kids to trails.
Erwin Utilities Watershed
Trail building, woods, trail builders, shovels, helmets
Franklin, Tennessee
Providing five NICA youth teams their first trails close to home for practice, while bordering of the fastest growing cities in the country.
Wilkins Branch Mountain Bike Park
Field, mountain bike, future trail, trees, greenery
Bellevue, Nebraska
A multi-phase progressive bike park plan to serve the growing East Nebraska and Western Iowa region.
Swanson Bike Park
Volunteers, students, trail building, shovels, rakes
Madison, Wisconsin
Planning a network of connecting mountain bike trails throughout the city's 270 city parks, to put more trails close to home for all residents.
Madison Bicycle Adventure Trail Network
Photo courtesy of: Michael Carnrike

Bringing More Trails Close to Home

The summer 2020 grant application period is now closed. Submitted proposals will be reviewed this fall. The grant application will be open again in spring 2021.


Learn More about Trail Accelerator Grants

IMBA will host webinars to discuss how to prepare a successful application and strategies for obtaining matching funds. These webinars will be available prior to the next application period.

Trail Accelerator Grant Sponsors

IMBA Trail Accelerator Grants in Detail

Grants typically range from $5,000-$30,000 and they require a one-to-one match. For example, if you request and are awarded a $5,000 grant, you must commit an additional $5,000 to IMBA. If you are awarded a $30,000 grant, you must commit an additional $30,000 to IMBA. Finalists will receive a call from IMBA Trail Solutions staff to clarify any questions and to discuss and define the scope of work, tasks, and final deliverables of the proposed Trail Accelerator grant project. A phone call does not mean that a grant has been awarded. For grant awardees, the agreed-upon trail planning process will be different for each site based on the desired outcomes and will be clearly documented in a contract between the applicant and IMBA. The deliverables will include trail plans in the form of written reports and maps, based on the scope of the project.

What Types of Projects Will Be Considered?
  • Projects that serve mountain bikers as the primary users, though multi-purpose human-powered trail uses are viable as well.

  • 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, volunteer recruitment, new rider development, youth riding, and engaging marginalized community members. Higher preference will be given to projects that demonstrate a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

  • A declined request does not imply that the project is not needed or valued. Those who do not receive a grant award may apply again in subsequent rounds.

Who Can Apply?

Local, municipal, state, or federal government agencies, and 501(c)(3) nonprofits that actively manage parks and trails may apply. Mountain bike clubs and IMBA Local partners with the capacity to match and manage a grant of this scale are eligible to apply—this is new for the Spring 2020 grant round. The organization applying must be able to provide the matching funds.

  • Projects which are primarily based on private land are not eligible to apply. 

  • Private organizations including ski resorts, HOAs, or property developers are not eligible to apply. 

  • Religious organizations for religious purposes, private foundations, and political causes/candidates/legislative lobbying groups are not eligible to apply.

Applying for a Grant

Each grant is an award of in-kind professional services from the IMBA Trail Solutions team (with assistance from qualified subcontractors as needed) and requires a one-to-one cash match.

  • The Spring 2020 application link will be live on this page on April 1st, 2020 with applications accepted until May 31st, 2020.

  • 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. If selected for a call, please do not consider this as approval for a grant.

  • Each awardee will be assigned a project manager who will coordinate the site visit and deliverables (written report, maps, etc.). 

  • 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. 

  • Due to volume, we cannot give specific feedback on declined proposals.


You must create an account and be logged in to apply for the Trail Accelerator Grant. Applications can be saved as drafts and returned to at a later time.

Meet the Team


I work for IMBA because of the positive change that our staff, members and partners make in communities across the country. Our work creates great places to ride mountain bikes. Local kids, families, business and visitors benefit from that, and I do, too!

Meet our team
Patrick Kell

Grants Manager


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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