The Healey-Driscoll Administration announced $11.6 million in funding through the MassTrails Grant Program to support 68 trail improvement projects. Across Massachusetts, these projects will expand and connect the state’s network of off-road, shared-use pathways and trails to use for recreation, exercise, and environmentally friendly commuting.
The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative promotes the MassTrails grant program as an opportunity for age and dementia friendly communities to enhance health and wellness for people of all ages.
The MassTrails Grant Program provides matching grants, technical assistance, and resources to individuals, municipalities, non-profits, and other public entities. These funds go toward the design, construction, and maintenance of diverse, high-quality trails, including hiking trails, bikeways, and shared-use paths. The program supports projects that build public-private partnerships. This year’s projects will directly impact over 100 communities, helping to develop new multi-use trails, expand accessibility, create connections between towns and existing trails, support the construction of boardwalks and bridges, design and install new signage, and acquire new land for trails.
The MassTrails Grant Program is funded through two sources. The first is the Massachusetts DCR capital budget. The second is the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program grants, managed at the state level by MassDOT. DCR administers the MassTrails grants. Additionally, the communities receiving funding will provide a proposed match of nearly $16 million.
This year’s MassTrails Grant projects will impact the following municipalities: Abington, Amherst, Andover, Ashburnham, Ashfield, Athol, Avon, Barnstable, Becket, Bellingham, Berkshire County, Billerica, Boston, Bridgewater, Brimfield, Buckland, Carver, Charlemont, Chatham, Chelsea, Clinton, Conway, Dalton, Deerfield, Dighton, Dudley, Gardner, Goshen, Granby, Groton, Hardwick, Haverhill, Hawley, Holden, Hudson, Lawrence, Lee, Lennox, Littleton, Lunenburg, Lynnfield, Malden, Marlborough, Medford, Melrose, Middleborough, Milton, Newburyport, Otis, Oxford, Pittsfield, Plainfield, Princeton, Raynham, Royalston, Sandwich, Savoy, Sheffield, Shelburne, South Hadley, Southampton, Spencer, Stoneham, Sturbridge, Sudbury, Taunton, Townsend, Waltham, Wareham, Washington, Westborough, Whately, Williamsburg, Winchendon, Winchester, Windsor, Woburn, and Worcester. For a complete list and brief description of each of the 68 projects receiving funding, please visit the MassTrails Grants webpage.
Additionally, the MassTrails Team recently announced the new, interactive Priority Trails Network Vision Map for statewide shared-use paths. The map provides a centralized inventory of key rail trail projects that will help support an envisioned comprehensive statewide transportation trail network. It specifically identifies approximately 320 miles of trails that have been constructed and are in use, 24 trails that are currently under construction, and another 60 miles of proposed paths that have been funded but not yet constructed. The map also lists priority shared-use path project locations that either have been proposed for consideration or will be pursued for funding and development to help address key gaps in the network.