State Trail Funding in State Budget

The State Budget includes $29.25M in nonrecurring funds in FY 21-22 for the Complete the Trails Fund, marking the first time North Carolina has made a significant direct investment in trails.

The Complete the Trails Fund will provide grants for State Trail projects, build capacity for State Trail nonprofit partner organizations, and creates a new Trail Coordinator position with recurring funds to pay for the new position. The Complete the Trails Fund will be managed by the NC Trails Program within the NC Division of Parks and Recreation.

“Trail funding in the state budget is a landmark victory. It is a job well done by everyone – from the coalition to members of the General Assembly to Governor Cooper. The citizens of North Carolina will benefit from this cooperative effort whether a trail brings them recreational opportunities, healthy lifestyle choices, a positive economic impact, or transportation options. I am proud to have been a part of this critical first step and look forward to the coalition’s work on the recurring funding still needed for all trails – state, regional and local.” Judge Robert C. Hunter, President of the Friends of the Fonta Flora State Trail, Inc.

The Great Trails State Coalition acknowledges and greatly appreciates the leadership of:

Representative Dean Arp, R-69 (Union), Senior Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee
Representative Hugh Blackwell, R-86 (Burke),
Representative Mike Clampitt, R-119 (Haywood, Jackson, Swain)
Representative Erin Pare, R-37 (Wake)

This group took the lead on this funding effort with help from many other members of the House, Senator Brent Jackson, and Governor Roy Cooper.

The Great Trails State Coalition, of which F3ST is a core member, worked with lobbyists, legislators and state parks on incorporating funding for trails in the budget. The Coalition will continue to work on funding for trails.