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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 jump-start efforts for communities that have the interest and political support to develop trail systems, but need an assist to get projects started.


The current grant application period is now closed, awardees will be announced in January 2020.

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

More trails close to home

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.

Trail Accelerator Grant Sponsors

IMBA 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) from the IMBA Trail Solutions team and qualified subcontractors. Please check back here for information on spring/summer 2020 application dates.

Single-Site Trail Plan Grants

Do you have one location 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 region want to develop mountain biking opportunities? This grant provides a comprehensive assessment of the feasibility of mountain bike trail development across multiple parks and 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, including volunteer recruitment and support, new rider development, and youth and marginalized community member 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. Those who do not receive a grant award may apply again in subsequent rounds.


Applying For a Grant

Each grant is an award of in-kind professional services from the IMBA Trail Solutions team (and qualified subcontractors), not cash, and requires a one-to-one match.

  • 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, 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. 
  • Due to the volume of proposals, unfortunately we cannot give you feedback about your proposal's particular strengths and weaknesses.


We will host two 60-90 minute webinars each grant cycle that will cover the ins-and-outs of applying for the IMBA Trail Accelerator Grant. Stay tuned for updated info.

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 or 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


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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