Grant Guide

Minnesota DNR

Local Trail Connection Grants


The Local Trail Connections program intends to accelerate development of local trail connections between where people live and significant public resources. The program is not intended to create significant new trails, but rather, to improve connectivity among natural and cultural resources.

Application & Review Process

Deadline: March 29, 2024

Applicants should download the program manual and fill out the application (Word doc). Applications are reviewed by the DNR in the spring, with award notifications issued in the summer.

Funding Amount

$5,000 – $150,000

The minimum request is $5,000 and the maximum request is $150,000. Grantees are reimbursed for up to 75% of the total project costs—recipient must cover at least 25% of the total project cost. In the past, funding for this grant program has come from “In Lieu Of”state lottery proceeds, which was subject to appropriation from the Legislature and signature of the Governor.



Acquisition and development of trail facilities; trail construction; permanent trail-side improvements (i.e. drainage, parking, bathrooms); features to facilitate access and use of trails by people with disabilities; bridge construction or restoration; contracted maintenance.

tools icon orange Infrastructure

grass icon orange Land/Resource


Local units of government (i.e. cities, counties, townships); trail organizations may apply, but only in coordination with a local unit of government.

columns icon orange Government Entity

Land Type & Geography

Local trail projects are eligible. Projects within state park boundaries or state trail corridors, and elements of the Regional Open Space System in the Twin Cities are not eligible. Projects must be within Minnesota.

local icon orange Local

orange trail icon Trails

Statistics & Examples

Funding History

YearFunds Awarded# ProjectsAverage Award

2020 Project Distribution

Past Award Examples

$82,390City of KassonConnect trail gaps to allow safer connect to parks and aquatic center.
$90,500City of WadenaReplace bridge over Union Creek on Leaf River Recreational Trail.
$109,500City of Cannon FallsConnect Mill Towns Trail to Cannon Valley Trail through city parks and trails.
$150,000City of LuverneConstruct .75 miles of trail on the Luverne Loop to connect with the Blue Mounds Trail.
$150,000City of VictoriaInstall 5000 feet of trail to connect two regional trails.

The information about this grant was last updated on 1/21/2021. Be sure to contact the granting organization directly to verify details.