Supporting Our Nation’s Trail Experts

Tammany Trace in Louisiana | Courtesy St. Tammany Parish

2.1 million in grants awarded to 193 trail organizations since 2008

Since 2008, RTC has awarded more than $2 million in grants to some 184 trail organizations, with a focus on investing in projects that are vital to trail development and community connectivity, but may not fit into traditional trail-funding streams. Through these relatively small investments, we are able to help complete and connect trails, improve the trail user experience and support local organizations dedicated to new and existing trails across the country.

Investing in Our Communities

In 2020, the Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund awarded a total of $100,000 to six trail projects, delivering funding for trails in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Louisiana and Florida. Recipients of these grants were chosen for their significant potential to improve existing trails, bring new trail concepts to fruition and fill critical trail gaps, increasing local and regional connectivity.

Building Regional Connectivity in Greater New Orleans

Louisiana’s Bike Easy is working across Greater New Orleans to create a safe active transportation network that will make the region more navigable for residents and tourists. Their $5,000 Doppelt grant will spearhead the formation of the Bootlace Trail Network Coalition to lead the build-out of the trail system.

Bringing Economic Opportunity in Western Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s Armstrong Trails received $35,000 from the Doppelt Fund to open the Brady Tunnel in Clarion County, linking communities at the disjointed 4.5-mile northern section of trail and the southern 31-mile portion connecting East Brady and Ford City. Completing this project will also help support increased connectivity and regionwide outdoor tourism along the larger 270-mile Erie to Pittsburgh Trail, of which the trail makes up a portion.

Trail Expert Network: Equipping Trail Professionals for Success

6,500+ people engaged in RTC's Trail Expert Network, 2,500+ webinar attendees in Fy 2020, 8 webinars offered utilizing 16 external experts

Supporting trail professionals and our on-the-ground partners that are building and maintaining trails across the county has been a foundation of RTC’s work for more than three decades. Our online Trail-Building Toolbox and peer-to-peer learning opportunities are pillars of this work—including the resources and learning made possible through our new Trail Expert Network Facebook group. These opportunities to share ideas and troubleshoot ensures that trail models of success can be replicated in every community.


RTC’s Webinar Series: Timely, Trusted Guidance for Trail Managers

As COVID-19 reshaped our lives and our communities, RTC quickly developed a series of rapid-response webinars to provide up-to-date information with trail managers and professionals on topics such as public health guidelines in outdoor spaces, strategies for maintaining trails during a time of unprecedented usage, and opportunities for creating more neighborhood-level biking and walking access to the outdoors by closing streets to vehicle traffic. Providing this timely, trusted and ongoing guidance helped ensure the steady stewardship and availability of trails so that everyone could have safe and equitable access to trails for their physical and mental wellness.


Trailblazer Society: Meeting the Moment

This past year was no doubt one of the most challenging in recent memory—and trails played a demonstrably crucial role for many Americans as safe spaces to care for their physical and mental well-being. With demand for trails higher than ever, our Trailblazer Society (TBS) members met the moment to support RTC’s work through donations of $1,000 or more. This inspiring group of people—hailing from nearly every state, and including both long-time supporters and new contributors eager to make a difference—are providing the investment necessary to support RTC’s work to expand access to this essential infrastructure in every community in America.