We are excited to announce the winners of our 2023 Legacy Trail Program grants. In the first year of this program, we funded a total of $1.35 million to 33 organizations.

Click on the project name below for more details. Also see the interactive map of awarded projects.

Arkansas Parks & Recreation Foundation

The Storm Creek Connector Trail

Amount Awarded: $36,289.00

This trail will connect Storm Creek Campground and Storm Creek Day-Use Area via an authorized trail designed by Arkansas State Parks (ASP).

American Hiking Society

Backpacker and Lakeshore Trails

Amount Awarded: $5,947.00

Eight volunteers including an American Hiking Society Crew Leader will join Forest Service staff to repair the Backpacker and Lakeshore Trails in Wayne National Forest to maximize recreation access next to a brand-new campground! On this project, trail work will consist of tread repair, drainage, and pruning of the Backpacker trail and Lakeshore trail.

American Hiking Society

Beaver Meadows Trail

Amount Awarded: $5,084.00

On this project, 10 Alternative Break college youth volunteers will work closely with Forest Service staff to complete the rebuild of the Beaver Meadows trail bridge through a beautiful meadow abounding with wildlife and recreational opportunities.

American Hiking Society

Munson Meadow Trail

Amount Awarded: $8,881.00

Sixteen volunteers, including an American Hiking Society crew leader will join this project to backpack into a stunning river valley of granite and pine trees and help restore access along the popular Munson Meadow canyon trail.

American Hiking Society

Imnaha River Trail

Amount Awarded: $5,514.00

Ten volunteers will depart from the Indian Crossing Trailhead and backpack into a feature of the Imnaha River known as Blue Hole. Participants on this project will construct erosion control structures on the Imnaha River Trail (#1816), which will allow the trail to be more resilient to extreme weather events. It will also prevent excessive sediment from entering the Imnaha River, improving watershed conditions for sensitive species.

American Hiking Society

Lost Lake Trail

Amount Awarded: $6,381.00

This project will take place on the beautiful Lost Lake Trail just north of Seward, Alaska and consists of rebuilding a step and run structure to reduce erosion and provide a durable surface when the nearby swamp is full of water. Additional trail maintenance will also be completed as time allows. Most of the trail work will take place within half mile of our designated campsite on the Lost Lake trail. There is an 80-foot section of existing native spruce step and run that has rotted and needs to be replaced.

Back Country Horsemen of California

Maxon Meadows Trail to Chamberlain Meadows Camp

Amount Awarded: $7,500.00

This work helps the Forest Service with much-needed maintenance in the Ansel Adams and John Muir Wilderness areas. As a result, the improved trails and safety measures will benefit the user and the commercial interests in the area. On the Maxon Meadow Trail, the existing causeway is dangerously damaged and failing; as a result, users are reluctant to cross it, so multiple trails have been created to avoid using the causeway. Removing the causeway and locating the trail to a more durable surface will mitigate this adverse impact by preventing multiple trails through the wetland and confining use to that more durable surface, preventing further damage.

Back Country Horsemen of the Virginia Highlands

Virginia Highlands Horse Trail

Amount Awarded: $75,000.00

The BCHVH are dedicated to preserving and improving the iconic 83-mile-long Virginia Highlands Horse Trail #337, a multi-use trail in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area in the George Washington Jefferson National Forest that stretches from Elk Garden in the west end to the New River, the eastern boundary. This popular trail is used by equestrians, hikers, mountain bikers and in sections, including the project area, is open to seasonal motorcycle use. The trail in the project area runs along and crosses four creeks (West Fork Dry Run, Jones Creek, Kinser Creek and Harvel Creek) that run into Cripple Creek which flows into the New River Watershed, that provides drinking water in southwest Virginia and West Virginia. A 3.5-mile section of the trail lies adjacent to the Little Dry Run Wilderness Area.

Back Country Horsemen of Washington

Pasayten Wilderness Project

Amount Awarded: $100,000.00

This project will implement a number of projects such as the examples below, to address a host of access, safety, and environmental concerns that currently exist within this project area. The MVRD has struggled to conduct an inventory of additional resource concerns and trail needs because many of these trails require significant logout and clearing to enable access. There will be dozens of similar projects to reduce sedimentation and protect watersheds.

Continental Divide Trail Coalition

Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

Amount Awarded: $38,200.00

With support from the Legacy Trail Grant program, CDTC will complete three projects that will take place along the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail in Colorado and New Mexico. These projects will mitigate trail erosion and address maintenance issues that negatively impact watershed health. In Colorado, CDTC will complete two projects in partnership with the Headwaters Trail Alliance. These projects will take place at Rollins Pass and on High Lonesome, which will address erosion and complete two bridge projects, respectively. The project at High Lonesome will include fully replacing two existing bridges that are 15 feet in length and have rotting planks and sinking foundations, posing hazards to trail users as well as negatively impacting watershed health. The project at the Rollins Pass will include improving a large trailhead parking area that has fallen victim to significant resource damage after several decades of high visitation.


Southfork Trail, White Mountain Wilderness

Amount Awarded: $10,000.00

Southfork trail is still being used by a small population and it has resulted in more user created trails that can result in degradation of the recourses. This project will create one main trail to keep the user impact on one trail. This project takes place on the Southfork trail in Lincoln National Forest – White Mountain Wilderness Area. The 2012 Little Bear Fire that burned 35,300 acres of National Forest System Lands began right above the trail. The area was closed after the fire and the trails were left unmaintained.

Friends of Pathways

Black Canyon and Trail Creek Drainages

Amount Awarded: $14,000.00

The Black Canyon Drainage Improvements project involves the following parts: Mitigating invasive species at Trail Creek trailhead to prevent their spread further onto the national forest. Adopting a series of user created trails that have formed in the wide Nordic grooming corridors near the Trail Creek trailhead. We are referring to these as the OPR Loops. Trails that make up 5 loop options on sustainable corridors will be adopted and improved. Trails that are unsustainable or lead to dead ends or private property will be closed and rehabbed.

Friends of the Inyo

Twenty Lakes Basin Toads and Trails

Amount Awarded: $11,476.00

The Twenty Lakes Basin Toads and Trails enhancement project proposes to restore over three miles of unauthorized use trails damaging wet, alpine meadow habitat, and address deferred maintenance on nearly ten miles of heavily-used system trails in the popular Hoover Wilderness of the Inyo National Forest. By restoring erosive, undesignated user-created trails through sensitive meadow habitat and enhancing existing system trails by addressing deferred maintenance, the project reduces the ecological impact of the designated trail system and improves user experience. User-trail restoration will directly enhance meadow and watershed function to benefit documented breeding populations of federally threatened Yosemite Toad, as well as enhance one of Mono County’s most popular and easily-accessible backcountry angling destinations sporting four species of trout (Brook, Rainbow, Brown, and Golden). The project will benefit three public water systems, as well as a major hydroelectric generation reservoir.

Friends of Uwharrie

Dickey Bell Trail Reroute and Bypass

Amount Awarded: $10,000.00

The Dickey Bell Trail (DBT) Construction and Reconstruction/ Reroute Project includes a 0.6 mile reroute of the DBT and the closure of 0.6 mile and revegetation of the existing DBT that goes through a significant prehistoric archaeological site and has a lot of erosion issues. This reroute will be outside of the archaeological site. Additionally, on the southern end of DBT a new bypass trail will be constructed around the hill climb that will offer a safe route for children, novice and intermediate riders and for riders with stock / unmodified vehicles, while still offering the challenge route for riders with modified vehicles and more experience.

G5 Trail Collective

Catawba River Headwaters

Amount Awarded: $98,278.00

The core of this project is reduction in erosion through trail restoration, relocation, and decommissioning. This District's history is in preservation of water quality. The Weeks Act established the parcel of land along Curtis Creek to improve water quality for wildlife as well as people downstream. Today, the health of the Catawba River Watershed is a key focus area for a large swath of the south that relies on it for clean and consistent drinking water supply.

Heart of Oregon Corps

Bandit Springs Trail System

Amount Awarded: $19,998.00

While improving access for users, the proposed work on BSTS will also improve conditions for local wetlands and habitats. Tread work, drainage, and crossings, will all work to reduce the erosion and water contamination that comes from overburdened trails. Similarly, rerouting trails will make them more sustainable while reducing the impact on wetlands and streams. Reducing access by unauthorized motorized vehicles will also reduce erosion, contamination of waterways, and the impact on sensitive habitats. Lastly, USFS Aquatics staff have identified the water crossing hardening as a way to improve habitat for the Columbia Spotted Frog.

Idaho Trails Association

Caton Lake Trail

Amount Awarded: $10,000.00

Trail drainage maintenance will result in a reduction in erosion from trail tread and reduction in sediment delivery to the stream that flows into and out of Caton Lake where trails are near or cross these water bodies. Work on the Caton Lake bridge will result in fewer hikers and stock users crossing the stream off the bridge, resulting in damage to surrounding riparian vegetation and bank stability. Trails in this proposal are adjacent to and cross water bodies, and because of deferred maintenance are not draining properly, resulting in tread erosion and delivery of sediment to streams as well as impacts to riparian vegetation at water crossings.

Idaho Trails Association

Yellowbelly Trail

Amount Awarded: $11,000.00

Trail drainage maintenance will result in a reduction in erosion from trail tread and reduction in sediment delivery to the stream that flows into and out of Farley and Toxaway Lakes, where trails are near or cross it. Functioning drainage and new puncheons will also increase resiliency of the trail to precipitation and runoff. If old puncheons collapse and fail they are not only dangerous to trail users, but the debris can block natural drainage patterns and result in additional erosion. The stream this trail follows is a tributary to Alturas Lake Creek, habitat for anadromous chinook salmon and bull trout, a TES species.

Los Padres Forest Association

Santa Cruz Trail

Amount Awarded: $17,595.00

The Los Padres Forest Association will restore 5.4 miles of the Santa Cruz National Recreation Trail (27W09) along the southern flank of Little Pine Mountain between the single track trailhead at Upper Oso Campground and Happy Hollow Campground. The funds will go specifically towards restoring a .9 mile subsection of trail that contains 3 broken retaining walls and a failing rock wall. The Santa Cruz Trail is one of only two federally designated National Recreation Trails (NRT) within the Los Padres National Forest (LPNF) and has historically been a very popular multi-use trail loved by hikers, backpackers, equestrians, and mountain bikers.

Methow Valley Trails Collaborative

Bridge Replacement for Trail Access

Amount Awarded: $16,322.00

This project will replace three trail bridges on two NFST trails and perform deferred tread maintenance on one of these trails. Replacing the bridges will keep trail users out of streams, prevent erosion, and improve aquatic species' habitat in these creeks. One is a major trail bridge in Wilderness, and the others are minor bridges in closer proximity on a multi-use non-motorized trail in the scenic State Highway 20 corridor. Bridges will be replaced in accordance with the USFS standard designs for 3-stringer log bridges. The stringer and sills will be native timbers sourced on site.

Montana Conservation Corps

Pioneer Mountains Trail Maintenance

Amount Awarded: $87,600.00

This project would focus, in part, on stream crossings and trail segments near streams that would improve trail drainage to reduce sedimentation. In addition, these creeks are home to conservation populations of West-slope Cutthroat trout which are a sensitive species of concern in this region. General trail maintenance is important from a watershed health standpoint because much of the trail system is within close proximity to streams that drain into the Wise River and Grasshopper Creek watersheds, both of which are listed on the State of Montana water quality limited streams due to physical substrate alterations (sedimentation/siltation). One of the causes identified is unmaintained roads and trails in the watershed.

Mountain Bike the Tetons

Horseshoe Canyon Trails

Amount Awarded: $11,549.00

The work to be performed; replace dilapidated bridge with a trail structure to reduce erosion and sediment flow into the main drainage of Dude Creek; perform trail tread improvements and augmented drainage. The standard of the trails in this area needs to be updated using contemporary trail design and building practices to improve overall resiliency. The work will be done in conjunction with the TBRD and volunteers in Summer 2023 and Summer 2024

New Mexico Wilderness Alliance

Lower San Francisco River Wilderness Study Area

Amount Awarded: $32,217.00

Fence repair and a FS managed gate will be installed to further delineate the WSA boundary and to discourage vehicle use. WSA Boundary and vehicles prohibited signs will also be placed at this location. Foot and horseback travel will be accommodated. Additional WSA boundary and portal signs will be installed at locations determined to be the most suitable and effective for visitors.

North Country Trail Association

North Country National Scenic Trail Connections

Amount Awarded: $13,142.00

Principal work items of this grant include relocation of Kekekabic Trail and relocation of trail connection between Bingshick and Glee Lakes. A few existing segments of the Kekekabic Trail are under water because of beaver activity and lake level fluctuation. Hikers attempting to avoid the deep water currently make their own alternate routes that damage aquatic vegetation and fragment riparian habitats. New trail routes will be located on upland areas making them more resilient. They will also be reviewed for potential cultural resource impacts and constructed using sustainable trail construction techniques thus reducing the potential of future wetland impacts

North Superior Ski and Run Club (NSSRC)

Pincushion Mountain Ski Trails

Amount Awarded: $10,000.00

The goal of this project is to rehabilitate the Pincushion Mountain Ski Trails (Pincushion Trails), using volunteers and contracted mechanical equipment (excavator/cats) to repair erosion damage and repair and supplement drainage culvert systems. The project includes several steps to improve trail functionality and drainage. We will establish a consistent 15-foot-wide trail tread using mechanical equipment to repair erosion damage, move ditches in some sections, regrade worn trails on steep hills, and clean out existing ditches to re-establish proper drainage of water. We will also repair and reinstall or add new culverts to ensure that water can flow freely from the higher side of the trail to the lower side.

Pendleton Area Saddle Club

Rocky Gap Horse Trail System

Amount Awarded: $17,000.00

This project will focus on preserving access and improving safety on the Rocky Gap Horse Trail System. The trail system sees especially heavy use because of its beautiful qualities and positioning between Georgia and South Carolina’s equestrian user groups. This project is especially vital because of the trail’s proximity to and location in the Wild and Scenic River Corridor. There will be four major focus areas for this project; culvert removal, tread work and reroutes, blazing, and interpretive signage. All work will be conducted by Pendleton Area Saddle Club volunteers and US Forest Service Staff and a young adult Public Lands Corps crew.

Prince William Sound Stewardship Foundation

Shrode Lake Trail

Amount Awarded: $15,400.00

The Prince William Sound Stewardship Foundation will work in partnership with the Chugach National Forest to restore the Shrode Lake Trail and associated spurs, improving safe access to a popular national forest recreation area. The Shrode Lake Trail is among the most popular national forest system trails in the Wilderness Study Area of western Prince William Sound. It stretches approximately three miles from Three Finger Cove (Cochrane Bay) to Long Bay (Culross Passage), providing a rare connector route between two distinct PWS waterways. It provides access to Shrode Lake, Shrode Creek, and the Forest Service’s Shrode Lake public use cabin.

Pulaski Users Group (PUG)

Johnson Creek Trail Re-Establishment

Amount Awarded: $48,000.00

Johnson Creek Trail Re-establishment in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The Pulaski Users Group will reclaim multiple USFS system trails from the Graham trailhead up to Pat's Lake in the SNRA. Our initial scope of work will entail logging out the many trees that have fallen across the trail over the years and cutting back overgrown brush. Because the area was thoroughly burned in 1994, thousands of snags have fallen across the upper seven miles of the Johnson Creek Trail, making it nearly impossible to navigate. Once the trail has been cleared of all downed logs, we will then be able to work on tread repairs, waterbar/drain upgrades, and other improvement projects that arise. All work will be human powered and done with traditional tools.

Routt County Riders

Soda Ditch Loop Trail

Amount Awarded: $11,000.00

The Soda Ditch Loop Trail is a popular connector and loop-access route based out of the busy Dry Lake Campground and parking area vicinity of Buffalo Pass. Over the past decade, a large amount of new trail development and construction has occurred on Buffalo Pass, thanks to a local tourism-focused lodging tax allocation that has funded many miles of new trail in the area. Routt County Riders, as the local cycling and mountain bike advocacy organization, has assumed a key role in helping maintain these many miles of trail alongside the USFS and in recruiting enthusiastic community volunteers to participate in maintenance and construction projects.

Sage Trail Alliance

Restoration of Buckhorn and Indian Trails

Amount Awarded: $45,000.00

This project will begin by clearing a large quantity of brush sieves and sediment from the stream channel, reconnecting 6 miles of aquatic habitat. After removal, retaining walls, natural waddles, and improved trail sustainability techniques will ensure a lessening of erosion. These practices will also improve resiliency to future wildfire and heavy storm events. This work will immediately improve a watershed that supplies water to Gibraltar Reservoir, a primary source of water for Santa Barbara County. Through working with the USFS resource specialist and local Tribe, we have already planned monitors on site to ensure cultural and environmental values are kept pristine.

Selway Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation

Hauf Lake and One Horse Lakes Trails

Amount Awarded: $8,341.00

Hauf Lake and One Horse Lake trails have not been fully maintained or improved in over 10 to 20 years. These projects will conduct deferred maintenance that will remove downed trees, restore trail tread, repair water bars, brush the trail corridor, and eliminate social trails. The deteriorated condition of these trails exacerbates erosion and creates public safety hazards and route-finding risks. The anticipated outcomes will be reduced erosion and sedimentation in pristine wilderness trout streams, improve trail sustainability, safety, and resiliency to flooding.

Superior Watershed Partnership

Trails in Ontonagon and Sturgeon watersheds

Amount Awarded: $90,956.00

The Superior Watershed Partnership (SWP), Great Lakes Climate Corps (GLCC), Ottawa National Forest (ONF), and North Country Trail Volunteers (NCTV) will complete over 37 miles of deferred maintenance on 6 prioritized ONF trail systems, adjacent to 7 National Wild and Scenic River corridors.

Tahoe Rim Trail Association

Building Resilience on the TRT/PCT

Amount Awarded: $94,300.00

The Tahoe Rim Trail Association's (TRTA) Building Resilience on the TRT/PCT in Desolation Wilderness project focuses on addressing deferred maintenance and overuse of the shared section of the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) and Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) from Echo Lakes to Dicks Lake and a major connector trail, Bayview Trail. Bayview Trail is a major access trail from Bayview Trailhead into Desolation Wilderness. At present, Echo Lakes to Bayview Trailhead is a nearly 19-mile section of trail that has several sections that due to weather events and overuse have caused erosion and are unsafe for trail users. In addition, this stretch of trail has areas that are difficult or near impossible for equestrian access and use. This project would fix eroded sections of the trail by adding drainages and rock walls, widen sections of the trail for equestrian access, decommission unauthorized and unsafe trails, install new rock stairs, and where needed repair culverts, old non-functioning water bars, and stream crossings.

Tread Lightly!, Inc.

Camp Creek Watershed Improvement

Amount Awarded: $74,635.00

The Forest Service is directed to improve and maintain watershed condition. Using the Watershed Condition Framework watershed condition classification ruleset, the Tonto NF has determined that the Camp Creek Watershed, located within the Cave Creek ranger district, is impaired and has created a watershed restoration action plan to improve the condition to functioning. One of the key essential projects to improve watershed condition is decommissioning and rehabilitating system and unauthorized user routes.

Washington Trails Association

Pomas Creek Trail and Entiat River Trail

Amount Awarded: $20,000.00

Severe wildfires and increased demand for trails has led to an urgent need for trail maintenance in the Entiat Ranger District. Without immediate response trail conditions will continue to worsen, resulting in trails that are unable to support the growing number of recreators and causing negative ecological impacts on the surrounding area. Washington Trails Association (WTA) will mobilize our network of 4,500 trail maintenance volunteers, as well as our professional backcountry trail crews, to address the most critical maintenance needs in the Entiat. WTA’s volunteer and professional crews will spend 2,410 hours maintaining 20 miles of trails in the region. This project will support three multi-day volunteer trips, one multi-day youth trip and two professional crew hitches focused on annual and deferred maintenance on several trails in the Entiat River District.

Western States Endurance Run Foundation

Western States Trail & Tevis Cup Trail, within Granite Chief Wilderness

Amount Awarded: $68,300.00

Granite Chief Wilderness includes a portion of the headwaters for the middle Fork of the American River. Granite Chief Wilderness provides exceptional riparian and aquatic habitat for native species in sub-alpine terrain. Proposed trail work will improve critical watershed habitat. Trail realignment and improvements will enhance the environmental stability, sustainability, and safety of the subject trail segments. Completion of the project will allow recreational users the option to traverse a sustainable loop configuration of trails in the eastern portion of Granite Chief Wilderness which will include a short section of the Pacific Crest Trail, and see more varied terrain and views.

Western States Trail Foundation

Western States Trail Improvements

Amount Awarded: $100,000.00

This project is an immediate need to improve a section of trail on the National Register of Historic Places within the Tahoe National Forest trail system along the Western States trail. It is a very special area that has major cultural and heritage resources, threatened and endangered species, natural resources, native plant communities, and most of all human life and safety that each and all need further protection and improvements in order to be a sustainable NFS trail. The USFS initial estimate to complete the work in the El Dorado canyon is more than $200,000. This grant funding will help us achieve a completed project that is much safer for users and will help to maintain the trail.

Wild Alabama

Sipsey Wilderness Trails Restoration

Amount Awarded: $96,459.00

So much of this project’s trail work is deferred maintenance that is in dire need. The USFS does not have the capacity to maintain these trails and depends on Wild Alabama to be the primary boots on the ground to keep them safe for hikers and equestrians. If we do not get into the Wilderness and reroute some of these trails, not only will the banks of the Sipsey Fork continue to erode at a faster than normal rate, but there will be safety issues since the trails are sometimes 20 feet or so above the water level and can cause severe injury to someone falling off the bank.