- Department of Conservation & Recreation
- Massachusetts Department of Transportation
Media Contact for Healey-Driscoll Administration Announces Over $11 Million in Grant Funding for 68 Trail Improvement Projects Across the Commonwealth
Ilyse Wolberg, DCR Press Secretary
Billerica — The Healey-Driscoll Administration today 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. Today’s announcement was made by Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rebecca Tepper, Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Commissioner Brian Arrigo, Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, and other and state and local officials in Billerica’s Town Center.
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.
“Outdoor recreation is directly tied to the economic prosperity of our state,” said Governor Maura Healey. “By investing in our trails system, we can give our residents opportunities to get outside, commute for free, and showcase all the natural assets Massachusetts has to offer. This is how we grow our economy, cut emissions, and improve health outcomes all at the same time.”
“Our state’s trail network creates connections between cities and towns all across Massachusetts, from the Berkshires to Cape Cod,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “Working with our public and private partners, the MassTrails Grant Program stitches communities together and we provide easier access for residents and visitors to experience our beautiful natural, cultural, and recreational resources.”
“The MassTrails Grant program enables the Healey-Driscoll Administration and our partners to grow our trails system and, ultimately, reduce transportation emissions,” said EEA Secretary Rebecca Tepper. “We know our residents want to get outside and enjoy their commute and their communities, but don’t always have an accessible, safe way to get around. MassTrails makes that possible through collaboration and connection.”
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.
“Bicycle and pedestrian paths are a key part of the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s commitment to providing safe and equitable transportation networks which support the state’s transit, economic, climate and public health goals,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Gina Fiandaca. “This grant money for 68 projects will help cities and towns build out the framework for creating a state-wide trails network and we look forward to seeing the positive impacts new trail construction will have for all those who live in, come to visit, or traverse through our state for work or pleasure.”
“DCR manages a vast trail network that connects communities across the Commonwealth and creates opportunities for outdoor recreation, tourism and economic opportunity," said DCR Commissioner Brian Arrigo. "The MassTrails Grant program enables us, with our state and local partners, to expand our trail network and create new connections that benefit even more families around our state and help build healthier communities.”
Today, officials joined together in Billerica, which is receiving $472,000 for the design, engineering, and permitting of the Yankee Doodle Bike Path. This path is a long-envisioned regionally significant non-motorized transportation connection between the Minuteman Bikeway in Bedford and the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail in Lowell.
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.
The inter-agency MassTrails Team, which includes MassDOT, EEA and DCR, and the Massachusetts Recreational Trails Advisory Board (MARTAB) review all grant applications. The program provides essential funding for project development, design, and construction of shared-use pathways, facilitating connections to where people live, work, and recreate. These funds focus on constructing and maintaining recreational trails of all types and use, including both motorized and non-motorized activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, paddling, snowmobiling, and recreational off-highway vehicle riding.
Additionally, MassDOT 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.