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Saxapahaw Island Park | Alamance County

North Carolina Invests in Trails

The General Assembly’s FY 21-23 budget included a historic $29.25M in nonrecurring funds in for the Complete the Trails Fund, marking the first time North Carolina has made a significant direct investment in trails.

This vital funding will lead to tremendous progress for the 12 authorized State Trails across North Carolina.

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.

There are also a number of earmarks for specific trail projects, $2M for trail feasibility studies, and authorization for our 12th State Trail, Roanoke River Paddle Trail.

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.


Trails are the foundation of North Carolina’s $28 billion dollar outdoor recreation economy and by promoting and investing in trail infrastructure, we are well-set to grow this number significantly.

"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.

We believe North Carolina is the Great Trails State.

Dan River State Trail | Stokes County