2010 National Trails Fund Projects

2010 National Trails Fund Winners

As of 2010, American Hiking has granted nearly $487,500 to 157 different trail projects across the U.S. for land acquisition, constituency building campaigns, and a variety of trail work projects. Scroll down to see details of the winning projects for 2010.

Gray Community Endowment

Location: Gray, ME

About: GCE is a nonprofit established in 2001 to inspire and facilitate locally focused philanthropy. Their mission is to provide strategic leadership and resources to help make Gray a healthy, vibrant, and sustainable community. CE is a nonprofit established in 2001 to inspire and facilitate locally focused philanthropy. Their mission is to provide strategic leadership and resources to help make Gray a healthy, vibrant, and sustainable community.

Project and Use of NTF: The Save Libby Hill Campaign will permanently protect 29 acres of land from residential development. The 29 acres abut 70 acres owned by the town of Gray and 46 acres owned by GCE that are preserved in perpetuity for conservation and recreational use, which together create a 145 acre parcel. The 29 acres sit directly behind the town Middle School, and are the “front door” to the other parcels owned by town and GCE. Designed by internationally known Nordic trail designer John Morton, the trails crisscross all three parcels. They are used year-round for hiking, mountain biking, running, horseback riding, dog walking, orienteering, cross-country skiing (classic and skate) and snowshoeing. Their close proximity to the Middle School and High School campuses allows easy access for cross-country running and Nordic teams, as well as to teachers using the forest as a lab. GCE sought the grant to support the Save Libby Hill! Campaign, a community-based, all volunteer effort to protect the loss of much-loved trails from residential development. GCE borrowed money to purchase the land and is conducting a capital campaign to pay off the bridge loan.


The Progress Center

Location: Norway, ME

About: Dedicated to promoting the highest level of independence and personal freedom for individuals with disabilities.

Project and Use of NTF: The Mathew Record Memorial Park and Trail is partly built and is fully wheelchair accessible. Once complete, its 900-foot trail (currently only 175 feet) will be used by the entire community. This project will build a beautiful new trailhead entrance to the Oxford Hills Trail System that runs alongside the park and for hundreds of miles in either direction, ultimately connecting to the national trail system. Parking is available during evening and weekend hours, making it a perfect family spot or a great launching point for hiking and biking excursions. Completed, the park will feature picnic tables, sitting benches, viewing gardens and educational wooden plant signs. Our site is a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat and was designed by the Maine Conservation Corps to protect against erosion. Hundreds of people already use this park and trail during the enjoyable seasons, and we expect that number to triple or more once our next stage of improvements connects our park to the greater Oxford Hills Trail System. We seek to clear land in our trailhead park and to purchase and compact engineered geotextile gravel and stone sandwich fill to construct 750 additional feet of wheelchair accessible trail, thereby also providing access to the adjacent Oxford Hills trail system.


Friends of Thorn Creek Woods

Location: Park Forest, IL

About: Preserves and protects open and natural lands in the Thorn Creek Watershed for conservation and recreation and to maintain and support such activities in the fields of conservation and recreation. Thorn Creek Nature Preserve was dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve in 1978 and is the fifth largest nature preserve in the state of Illinois. The 985 acre preserve is part of a larger greenway within Will and Cook Counties. The preserve holds 3 ½ miles of hiking trails and sees over 5000 visitors yearly. Trails are used by nature center staff in environmental education programs for adults and children alike, as well as for hiking, bird watching, scientific studies, nature and wildlife photography and more.

Project and Use of NTF: Projects have included installing French drainage systems, new boardwalks, waterbars and footbridges. With each improvement, the trails of Thorn Creek Woods have seen a rise in foot traffic, increasing the outdoor experience of many people. The bridge and trail relocation project is expected to increase the amount of foot traffic, as well as increase the usability of the area by staff for environmental education and interpretive programs. Maintenance vehicles will no longer be forced to forge their own path through the preserve as they attempt to cross the creek, lessening the impact they leave within the preserve. Relocation and construction of a new 34’ bridge and rerouting of 300’ of existing trail. The bridge will be wider, allowing small utility vehicles, strollers and wheelchairs the ability to safely cross Thorn Creek. The current locations are inaccessible during heavy rains and are damaged by heavy erosion.


Selway Bitteroot Foundation

Location: Ravalli County, MT

Mission: To connect citizens and communities to assist in the stewardship of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and surrounding wildlands.

Project and Use of NTF:We will be performing trail maintenance and campsite restoration in One Horse Lakes Basin within the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. Located just below the popular destination of Lolo Peak, the lakes basin has seen little maintenance over the past decade, and the trails accessing the basin are in need of significant maintenance. The three major goals of this project are trail opening, general trail maintenance and campsite restoration. Trail 326 will be opened between Carlton Lake and its terminus at South One Horse Lake. A spur trail to North One Horse Lake will be opened as well. In total, approximately 3.5 miles of trail will be opened that have gone uncleared for years. We will be opening trails according to Forest Service specifications, which will allow for both hiker and stock access. After opening the trails, we will perform general trail maintenance on the same 3.5 miles of trail, primarily focusing on brushing and water bar maintenance, again with in Forest Service specifications. Finally, we will spend any remaining time reducing the size and environmental impact of campsites within the One Horse Lakes Basin. By accomplishing these three goals, we will be providing access much-needed maintenance to a popular area that has been neglected for most of the past decade.

*Recipient of the Galen Rowell National Trails Fund award for 2010. For more information, please visit www.bythom.com/chasing.htm.


Horse-Shoe Trail Conservancy

Location: Stateline, NV

Mission: To maintain and enhance the Tahoe Rim Trail system and encourage stewardship through volunteer programs, educational outreach and community partnerships. To promote healthy, environmentally responsible outdoor recreation and provide access to the beauty of the Lake Tahoe region, now and for future generations.

Project and Use of NTF: Thirteen miles of new trail will link urban Stateline (CA/NV) with National Forest backcountry on the Daggett Summit Reroute. The trail will be signed with directional markers at trail junctions, confidence markers, a kiosk with an accurate trail map, and highly visible mileage signs will inform and educate users on the trails. Concurrent with completion of new 13 miles of new trail construction, crews will decommission 129,127 ft2 of user-created trails that are causing resource damage and will be unnecessary after completion of the re-route. 1) Move the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) from paved (and unsuitable) city streets in Upper Kingsbury into the forest. Ultimately, this will connect the Kingsbury North (KBN) and Kingsbury South (KBS) Trailheads of the existing TRT by either (or both) of two view-filled trail alignments. 2) Provide quality, sustainable medium to short scenic trail and loop opportunities accessible to the primary basin visitor area. This involves the planned TRT connection and additional opportunities (mostly for loops) also result from the integrated nature of the overall planned system. 3) Connect the TRT with the Van Sickle State Park (VSSP) Connector adjacent to the South Lake Tahoe/Stateline city core. This would provide sustainable and scenic non-motorized access from a primary visitor area to the Rim Trail System; create an exceptional opportunity for coupling existing public transit routes to trail use; make a loop with the Edgewood Creek Trail; and offer a number of quality options for exercise, short recreational and scenic view activities adjacent to the “Casino/Motel Corridor”.


Mohican Trails Club

Location: Loudonville, OH

About:Work with Mohican State Park and Mohican Memorial Forest to: maintain and restore existing trails, offer trail assistance to park visitors, offer guided hikes on the recreational trails to promote interpretation of natural and cultural aspects of the Mohican area, development and rehabilitate trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages, and notify Park Contacts of any trail hazards.

Project and Use of NTF: The Mohican State Park is the most popular outdoor recreation area in Northern Ohio and the Lyons Falls-Stagecoach trail is the most popular hiking trail in the park. This popularity has placed a high degree of stress on this trail. Coupled with the state park budget cuts the past 11 years, the deterioration of this trail is becoming critical. To address this problem, the Mohican Trails Club was formed. While members have become very proficient constructing bridges, the park has provided no materials budget. All of the club’s efforts are directed at building bridges in non-park property or providing the labor to keeps the park’s trails open. Last year the club replaced the first bridge on this trail and the bridge we to wish replace this year completes the loop trail so a hiker can return to the trail head without backtracking. It’s replacement is critical to the club’s goal of keeping this trail open. Lyons Fall is the most popular feature in the park and this project will replace the foot bridge after the falls on the loop trial. The current bridge fails state safety standards and a replacement will protect surrounding flora and fauna, and be more accessible to persons with mobility issues.


Truckee Trails Foundation

Location: Truckee, CA

Mission:To champion a network of trails and bikeways in the Truckee area for environmental, economic, and community well-being.

Project and Use of NTF: This United States Forest Service (USFS) trail maintenance project is going to be a long-term endeavor on several USFS lands in the Truckee, California area. We hope to kick off this effort in summer of 2010 by focusing on the Donner Lake Rim Trail. This trail is being built on USFS land by the Truckee Donner Land Trust and volunteers, with over eleven miles of multi-use trail currently available for recreational endeavors. For this effort, we will be striving to meet the following goals: 1)Recruitment of at least 40 volunteers to provide necessary trail maintenance; 2) Completion of trail maintenance of 11 miles of Donner Lake Rim Trail between June 26, 2010 and August 15, 2010; 3) Through increased publicity of the Donner Lake Rim Trail, a 25% increase in trail usage over the course of summer/fall 2010; and 4) Identification of, and volunteer work on, an additional 10 miles of local USFS trails, to be completed by October 16, 2010. Trails around Truckee are in constant need of maintenance, with limited resources currently available to provide necessary efforts. NTF funding will enable an increase in the number of volunteer trail maintenance days from one per year to one per week in warm weather months.


Frear Park Conservancy

Location: Troy, NY

About:The Frear Park Conservancy is dedicated to improving Frear Park and preserving it’s historic integrity. Through collaborative efforts with park users, the surrounding community and the City of Troy, the Conservancy strives to revive and maintain the park’s history, beauty, and recreational value. We advocate awareness of, access to, and appreciation of the park’s natural beauty and history.

Project and Use of NTF:Frear Park is the largest public park of Troy, New York. It is on all sides surrounded by residential areas, and less than 2 miles from downtown. The park offers beautiful views of the Hudson Valley, but the presence of an 18 hole golf course makes the park inaccessible to many residents. Through the creation of a hiking trail system, the Frear Park Conservancy is hoping for increased public access and enjoyment of the park. This past year, much effort has been put into the ‘Piscawan Trail’, which takes the hiker along historical Piscawan creek, which contains some scenic waterfalls, and empties into Bradley Lake, where the trail continues along the lakeside (see map). With the help of many volunteers, much of this trail was cleared, leveled, and paved with wood chips, and we are hoping to officially open the Piscawan trail to the public on National Trails Day 2010. Unfortunately, this summer a beaver created a beaver dam right where the creek empties into the lake, and some 20 yards of trail has disappeared under the rising water level. This project involves creating a section of boardwalk to circumvent the beaver pond and make the trail passable again. This grant would allow us to install about 100 feet of boardwalk along a wet spot of the trail that will be necessary to complete the ‘showcase’ section of the trail system: a quarter of a mile of trail along a creek, falls, and lake.


Gwinnett Parks Foundation

Location: Stone Mountain, GA

About: The Gwinnett Parks Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to assist the needs, whether volunteer labor or monetary, of Gwinnett Parks & Recreation. The foundation was organized in 2001 to improve the quality of life for all its citizens by working in cooperation with Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation, private citizens, businesses, foundations and the Gwinnett County Government.

Project and Use of NTF: The repairs to the 12 miles of soft surface trials would include relocating existing trails along the river bank to promote revegitation in the riparian zone, reduce erosion, minimize the environmental impact, and make the trail safe for all users. By utilizing volunteers to restore the trail system, a higher level of community ownership, pride, and intrinsic desire to use the trails is established for the local area residents. This project is also an opportunity to strengthening the alliance between the hiking, equestrian, and mountain biking communities for a common cause. Word of mouth by the user groups will increase usage upon completion, and make the park once again a destination site for the southeast region. Repairs and improvements to the trail will increase usage, and improve the physical and mental health of those that participate in recreational activities at the park. The funds would be used for restoration of natural surface trails at Yellow River Park, which were destroyed due to severe storms and flooding in the Atlanta area. Gwinnett County, Georgia received a FEMA Disaster Declaration on 09/30/2009. Sections of Yellow River Park trails are still closed due to excessive rain.


San Diego River Park Foundation

Location: San Diego, CA

About: To champion the creation of the 52 mile San Diego River Park and to engage people to increase awareness, understanding and stewardship of the historic San Diego River.

Project and Use of NTF: The Eagle Peak Historic trail crosses a preserve owned and operation by the River Park Foundation. This provides a connection between the San Diego River Trail and trails within the Cleveland National Forest. This work will open a 3 mile section of trail. Trail markers will be intalled on 5 miles of trails, two interpretive signs will be installed as will directional signs. 70 volunteers donating approximately 420 hours will be engaged in the project and provided an opportunity to learn firsthand the benefits of service and the role volunteers can play in caring for these public resources. The project is to make improvements to the Eagle Peak Historic Trail which was damaged in 2008 wildfires. A small drainage crossing will be re-built, sign and trail markers installed, and general improvements to the trail surface will be made by volunteers.