NC Complete the Trails Program

Historic legislation passed in 2021 provides an unprecedented level of funding for the planning, construction, promotion, and maintenance of state trails in North Carolina. This legislation created the Complete the Trail Program (CTP) with over $30 million in funding as of 2023.

The legislation requires that the majority of CTP funds be distributed by the Division of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to a nonprofit or local government partner for each state trail. To be a recognized partner, an organization must have a Memorandum of Understanding with DPR and an approved 3- to 5-year plan for deploying the funds to develop the state trail.

A portion of the CTP funds, $1.9 million, will also go to small communities to support the development of trails that will connect communities to the state trails.

There are 14 state trails authorized by the General Assembly: nine land-based trails and five paddle trails. The planned mileage for the state trail system is over 3,500 miles. More than 30 state parks, state natural areas, and state recreation areas host or are adjacent to state trail segments.

 

Connecting Communities to State Trails Grants (CCST)

A portion of CTP are funds ($1.9 million) for connecting eligible local governments to state trails.

CCST Application Information

Tab/Accordion Items

Eligible Communities

North Carolina municipalities with less than 25,000 in population and located within 6 miles of an existing or planned segment of a state trail are eligible for CCST grants. Two or more local governments may apply jointly, with one serving as the primary sponsor. View the eligible municipalities:

ArcGIS Map

Eligible Projects

CCST grant requests can be for the planning or development of connecting trails to the state trails system. All constructed land trails must be natural surface.

Public Use Requirement

Trails and trail facilities must be open and accessible to the public, with no restrictions such as membership. Property acquired and trail facilities built or renovated with CCST assistance must be dedicated forever for public recreational use. Land acquisition projects must record this use on the deed of the land.

Match Requirement

Applicants from municipalities with populations greater than 5,000 but less than 25,000 must match the grant at least dollar-for-dollar with non-state funds. Applicants from municipalities with less than 5,000 are not required to match the grant. The appraised value of land to be donated to the applicant can be used as matching funds. The value of in-kind services, such as the applicant's force account labor or volunteer work, can be used as part of the match. The grantee is required to provide documentation of all matching funds within the 3-year grant period.

Jan. 24, 2024 DPR begins accepting applications
April 30, 2024 Application deadline
Fall/Winter 2024 Grant recipient selection

  • $1,930,500 is available for the entire grants program.
    • $1,287,000 is reserved for communities with less than 5,000 population.
    • $643,500 is reserved for communities with a population greater than 5,000 but less than 25,000.
  • Minimum/Maximum Request: Applicants can request a minimum of $25,000 and a maximum of $100,000 with each application.
  • Match Requirement: Applicants from municipalities with populations greater than 5,000 but less than 25,000 must match the grant at least dollar-for-dollar with non-state funds. The appraised value of land to be donated to the applicant can be used as matching funds. The value of in-kind services, such as the applicant's force account labor or volunteer work, can be used as part of the match. The grantee is required to provide documentation of all matching funds within the 3-year grant period.

DPR selects grant recipients using the following factors:

  • the applicant's description / justification for the project
  • the applicant's ranking based on the CCST scoring system
  • the geographic distribution of grants across North Carolina
  • the distribution of grants to local governments with populations less than 5,000 and over 5,000
  • the amount of CCST funds that the applicant is requesting
  • the amount of CCST funds available

The map below can be viewed in a full window on the ARCGIS website.

Contact the State Trail Planner respective to the state trail for which you are applying to connect:

Kat Deutsch (kat.deutsch@ncparks.gov)
State Trail State Trail Partner
Dan River State Trail Dan River Basin Association
East Coast Greenway State Trail East Coast Greenway Alliance
Equine State Trail* North Carolina Horse Council (in progress)
French Broad River State Trail MountainTrue
Fonta Flora State Trail Friends of Fonta Flora State Trail
Northern Peaks State Trail Blue Ridge Conservancy
Yadkin River State Trail Yadkin Riverkeeper

* Authorized in 2023

Smith Raynor (smith.raynor@ncparks.gov)
State Trail State Trail Partner
Deep River State Trail Piedmont Land Conservancy
Haw River State Trail* Alamance County
Hickory Nut Gorge State Trail Conserving Carolina
Mountains-to-Sea State Trail Friends of Mountains to Sea Trail
Overmountain Victory State Trail Overmountain Victory North Carolina State Trail Friends
Roanoke River State Trail Roanoke River Partners
Wilderness Gateway State Trail Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina

 

Contact Information

State Trail Planning Staff  
Program Manager Dave Head
dave.head@ncparks.gov
(919) 707-9310
State Trails Planners Kat Deutsch
kat.deutsch@ncparks.gov
(919) 896-5589
Smith Raynor
smith.raynor@ncparks.gov
(919) 707-9305
State Trails Grant Manager Sam Little
sam.little@ncparks.gov
(919) 707-9308