DCNR Motorized Trails Grants

Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR)

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Anticipated deadline: Apr 22, 2021 1:00pm PDT

Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Fields of work: Trail Creation & Maintenance

Applicant type: Government Entity, Nonprofit, For-Profit Business, College / University, Elementary / Secondary School

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: Pennsylvania

Location of residency: Pennsylvania

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Trail projects include the acquisition, planning, development, rehabilitation, or maintenance of designated routes on land or water for motorized recreation activities. This includes the purchase of equipment for trail construction or maintenance.

Project Types for Motorized Trails

Planning - Trail Planning Projects examine the feasibility of developing land and water trails and trail-related facilities for motorized recreational activities as well as provide an action plan to make the trail a reality.

Trail Planning: Project types: 

  • Trail Study
  • Master Site Development Plan

Acquisition - Trail Acquisition Projects involve the purchase of fee simple title or perpetual easement to real property for subsequent development of motorized trails and trail-related facilities.

Trail Land Acquisition: Project Types: 

  • Fee Simple
  • Trail Easement

Development, Rehabilitation, or Maintenance - Trail Development Projects involve new construction, rehabilitation and/or maintenance of existing land and water trails and trail-related facilities for motorized activities.

Trail Development: Project Types:

  • New Construction and Rehabilitation
  • Maintenance

Equipment Purchase - Equipment Purchase Projects involve the purchase or lease of equipment to be used exclusively for the maintenance or construction of land and water trails and trail-related facilities for motorized recreational activities.

Educational Programs - Educational Program Projects involve the development and operation of educational programs that promote safety and environmental protection as those objective related to the use of recreational trails. 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Who is an eligible applicant?
    • Municipalities - Any county, city, borough, incorporated town, township or home rule municipality
    • Municipal agencies - Any official agency created by a municipal government under the laws of the Commonwealth such as municipal authorities, Council of Governments (COG’s) and intergovernmental commissions.
    • Pre-qualified land trusts - Non-profit conservation or preservation organizations, conservancies or land trusts that:
      • Have a primary purpose of conservation and preservation of critical habitat, open space, parklands or natural areas for public benefit;
      • Are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;
      • Are registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State, Bureau of Charitable Organizations;
      • Have been in existence at least 5 consecutive years
    • Appropriate/authorized organizations - A non-profit entity involved in research, restoration, rehabilitation, planning, land acquisition, development, education or other activities, which furthers the protection, enhancement, conservation, preservation or enjoyment of this Commonwealth’s environmental, conservation, recreation or similar resources.
      • The organization (unless it is an educational institution) must be both tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and
      • registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State, Bureau of Charitable Organizations (BCO). 
    • For-profit Enterprises - Eligible only for PA Recreational Trails, Snowmobile and All-Terrain Vehicle Program funding.
      • For the purposes of these programs, for-profit enterprises must be established under Pennsylvania law or must be authorized to do business in Pennsylvania under applicable Pennsylvania law.
    • Municipalities are eligible for the majority of our grant funding sources while there are limited funding sources for most private, non-profit organizations, with the exception of pre-qualified land trusts.
      • See Figure 2 and Figure 3 for project applicant eligibility by funding source. 
  • Funding Conditions
    • All projects must serve a public purpose and help advance DCNR goals & priorities.
    • All facilities/sites must be open for use by the general public.
    • Applicants may submit more than one application per funding period.
    • Match is required for all projects and varies based upon the grant award funding source.
    • Consideration of green/sustainable practices and energy saving technologies and are encouraged in all planning projects.
    • For trail planning projects that include preliminary designs, the applicant must control the property through fee simple ownership, permanent easement, or long-term lease agreement (minimum of 25 years).


  • Projects that involve the development of trails or internal walkways within parks are not considered trail projects.