Friday, November 9, 2012

American Hiking Society



What is the National Trails Fund?

American Hiking Society’s National Trails Fund is the only privately funded, national grants program dedicated solely to building and protecting hiking trails. Now in its twelfth year, the fund has awarded more than a half million dollars to 140 grassroots organizations all over the nation working to establish, protect and maintain foot trails in America. Awards range from $500 to $5,000 per project.


What types of projects will be considered for the 2013 grants?

- Those that have hikers as the primary constituency, though multi-purpose human-powered trail uses are eligible
- Those that secure trail lands, including acquisition of trails and trail corridors and the costs associated with acquiring conservation easements.
- Projects that will result in visible and substantial ease of access, improved hiker safety and/or avoidance of environmental damage. Higher preference is often given to projects with volunteer labor.
- Projects that promote constituency building surrounding specific trail projects - including volunteer recruitment and support.

Funding Details and Grant Accountability
- Award amounts range from $500 to $5,000.
- Applicants must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and must submit their IRS designation letters.
An applicant must be a current member of AHS’s Alliance of Hiking Organizations to be eligible
- Except for land acquisition programs, acceptable projects should be completed in one year. Multi-year projects will be considered only in exceptional cases.
- Grants will not be awarded to (a) religious organizations for religious purposes, (b) private foundations or (c) political causes, candidates or legislative lobbying efforts.
- The grantee must complete a final report on the project’s progress, successes and failures, funds dispersal and what role the grant played in the project, due April 30, 2014.
- A declined request does not imply that the applicant’s program is not needed or valued, but simply that it does not fall within our giving guidelines or priorities, or that funds are not available.

Application Procedures
- Visit to apply for the National Trails Fund.  Follow all instructions before opening the application.
Once you begin a National Trails Fund Grant Application, you will NOT be able to save your progress. 
All applications MUST be submitted electronically. Submit your application by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on December 15, 2012.  Late applications will not be accepted under any circumstances. 

November 1, 2012
Application is available online at
December 15, 2012
Application must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (EST)
May 2013
Board of Directors approves American Hiking Society Trail Grant                        recipients and applicants are notified.
April 30, 2014
Final Report due to American Hiking Society.

An applicant must be a current member of AHS’s Alliance of Hiking Organizations to be eligible.  To find out more about the Alliance and to join/renew, or contact Peter Olsen at

If you have any questions about National Trails Fund, please contact John Michels at 301-565-6704 ext. 208 or email 

I have read the National Trails Fund Grant Guidelines and am now ready to view the grant application checklist.

1 comment:

  1. Grant giving is such an important element in keeping our most precious commodities alive and well.