NOVA-Trails Trails-Nonhighway and Off-Road Vehicle Activities Program


$7.7 million


Grant Limit



Match Requirement



The Nonhighway and Off-road Vehicle Activities program provides funding to develop and manage recreation opportunities for such activities as cross-country skiing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain bicycling, hunting, fishing, sightseeing, motorcycling, and riding all-terrain and four-wheel drive vehicles.

A portion of the funding also is available for education and enforcement programs that encourage environmentally responsible use of the outdoors and for helping to minimize conflict between visitors through positive management techniques.

Except for off-road vehicle facilities, activities supported by this program must be accessed via a non-highway road, which is a public road that was not built or maintained with gasoline tax funding. Non-highway roads are found most often in state and national forests and national parks.

Grant Application Schedule

Item Date

Application Webinar, Applications Open

Register for Webinar

August 1, 2024 

Plan Due

A comprehensive plan is required to be eligible for a grant.

September 3, 2024 

Application Due

October 31, 2024 

Technical Review

November 1, 2024 - December 16, 2024 Estimate

Technical Completion Deadline

January 22, 2025 

Project Evaluation

February 24, 2025 - February 28, 2025

Board Approves Preliminary Ranked Lists

April 30, 2025 Estimate

Grant Award History

Most recent grants and evaluation results, listed by the application year.

Application Resources

Grant Manual


Application Webinar

Watch the 2022 Application Webinar here!

Project Celebrations

Typical Projects

  • Building, renovating, and rerouting trails
  • Maintaining trails and associated campgrounds and trailheads
  • Operating off-road vehicle parks
  • Educating trail users

Who May Apply?

  • Local agencies
  • Special purpose districts, such as park districts and port districts
  • Native American tribes
  • State agencies
  • Federal agencies
  • Nonprofit off-road vehicle organizations

Special purpose districts are port, public utility, or park and recreation districts or other political subdivisions of the state that provide services to less than the entire state. The special purpose district legally must be authorized to acquire and develop public open space, habitat, farmlands, riparian habitat, or recreation facilities.

Planning Requirement

To apply for this funding, grant applicants must have completed a comprehensive recreation or conservation plan. See details on the planning page and in Manual 2: Planning Guidelines. Maintenance and operations projects do not need a plan.


Funding is awarded every other year and comes from a portion of the state gasoline tax and off-road vehicle use permits.

Grant Limits

CategoryMaintenance and OperationLand Acquisition, Development, Planning
Nonhighway Road $150,000 $200,000
Nonmotorized $150,000 $200,000
Off-road Vehicle $200,000 No limit

Match Details

Match is not required but additional points are awarded during evaluation for projects with match contributions. Examples of match include the following:

  • Appropriations or cash
  • Bonds
  • Donations of cash, land, labor, equipment, and materials
  • Federal, state, local, and private grants
  • Applicant’s labor, equipment, and materials

Eligible Projects


  • Comprehensive plans, construction drawings, environmental assessments, feasibility and preconstruction studies, route surveys and reconnaissance, and site master plans
  • Land acquisition: Purchase in fee title, or lesser interests such as leases and easements. Leases must be for at least twenty-five years. Grants may not be used for land acquisition by federal agencies.


  • Employee residences for employees directly involved in the operation and maintenance of a NOVA-assisted project. For details, see the grant manual.
  • Extensive reconstruction when facilities are obsolete or usefulness or safety is impaired (although not because of inadequate maintenance)
  • Nonmotorized boating access facilities
  • Off-road vehicle sports parks including motocross tracks, sand drag strips, four-wheel drive competitive and play facilities, spectator facilities, concession buildings, and park administration and maintenance facilities
  • Parking, trails, and trailheads
  • Picnic and camping areas
  • Route and interpretive signs and informational bulletin boards
  • Sanitary facilities including sewer systems and other related utilities
  • Utilities, including water, electric, and telephone service
  • Wildlife viewing facilities

Maintenance and operation of trails may include any kind of trailside, trailhead, or trail maintenance, operation, restoration, rehabilitation, or relocation. “Rehabilitation” means extensive repair needed to bring a facility up to standards suitable for public use. “Operation” means non-capital costs such as cleaning restrooms, garbage service, septic service, etc.

Ineligible Projects

Acquisition Projects

  • Land already owned by the applicant
  • Land to be used for any activity not eligible for NOVA development funding
  • Lands with revenue producing potential where the cost of acquisition could be financed completely through revenue accruing to the project
  • Property interests for a period of less than twenty-five years

Development Projects

  • Areas primarily for commercial, semi-professional, or professional activities
  • Commercial facilities such as go-cart tracks and amusement facilities, even when these elements are part of a larger off-road vehicle project
  • On land to be acquired on a conditional sales contract unless the applicant holds the deed to the property
  • On land acquired with conflicting reversionary clauses within the deeds, or with clauses that significantly affect public recreation use of the property
  • On land where there is expected to be future unacceptable or immitigable impacts to the NOVA project as part of an ongoing land management program by the project applicant

Maintenance Projects

  • Maintenance of facilities not open and available to NOVA program activities
  • Work on snowmobile trails

Planning Projects

  • Plans for private facilities, except non-public administrative areas such as employee residences, garages, workshops, etc.
  • Projects containing cost elements designed to produce planning information on items ineligible for NOVA acquisition or development funding
  • Plans unlikely to lead to future NOVA facilities that meet Recreation and Conservation Funding Board funding eligibility criteria

Long-term Commitment

In most cases, any land purchased must be kept for recreation purposes forever. Leases must be for at least twenty-five years.