Trail Funding Program: Trail Destination Development Stream


The Trail Destination Development Funding Stream provides grants to support the development of diverse and sustainable trail tourism destinations through investments in tourism infrastructure, experience and product development, visitor-use management, and capacity-building initiatives along the Trans Canada Trail.

Please refer to Trail Funding Program’s Framework for description and details of eligible expenses, project administration and promotion and recognition for Trans Canada Trail funding recipients.


All applicants must:

  • Complete the assessment of the trail(s) where the destination is being developed with the National Guidelines for Classifying Multi-Use Trails in Canada tool provided by Trans Canada Trail. The result of the evaluation of tourism readiness of the trail where the destination is being developed should be at least “visitor ready”.
  • Meet the general eligibility requirements outlined in Section 2 of the Trail Funding Program’s Framework
  • Applications submitted must agree to meeting all applicable codes, bylaws and regulations pertinent to the project and region
  • Provide valid proof of liability insurance, as it pertains to the section of the Trail where the project is taking place
  • Be either a trail operator or a partnership, led by at least one trail operator, with organizations, stakeholders, right holders as part of the trail tourism ecosystem (ref. National Guidelines for Classifying Multi-Use Trails in Canada, section 4, figure 6)
  • If no official partnership is in place with the trail tourism ecosystem, please provide:
    • A letter of support from key stakeholder(s) in the hosting communities or region, for example, the town or city officials, the local Destination Management Organization (DMO), local Chamber of Commerce or business investment association
    • Identification of how support from Trans Canada Trail will allow the applicant to connect, coordinate, and collaborate with the trail tourism ecosystem
    • Evidence of the optimization of benefits brought to the hosting communities
  • Any project submitted needs to be supported by the hosting communities or Destination Management Organizations (DMOs). Trans Canada Trail strongly encourages applicants to connect, coordinate and collaborate with the entire trail tourism ecosystem of the trail destination under development.
    • If no relationship exists, the project must include a strategy for the establishment of these relationships. Trans Canada Trail can help the applicant with the implementation of the strategy and provide the support of our network.
    • The project submitted should optimize the benefits of trail tourism brought to the host communities. These benefits have positive effects on the local economy, elevate resident awareness and community pride, preserve and share the local cultural heritage, attract and retain a diverse population in the community, increase the quality of life, and have positive impacts on the environmental.

Financial support

Trans Canada Trail may provide financial support to the following types of eligible projects of trail destination development: visitor-use management, capacity-building, tourism infrastructure, tourism experience or product development, and other projects that activate and drive economic benefits of trail tourism.

Visitor-use management and capacity-building

The maximum contribution amounts for these types of projects are limited to 35% of eligible expenses, up to $20,000.

Tourism infrastructure and tourism experience or product development 

The maximum contribution amounts for these types of projects are limited to 35% of eligible expenses, up to $50,000.

Examples of eligible projects

Visitor-use management

  • Studies and assessments for visitor capacity
  • Analysis of access points and connectivity to local services
  • Data collection for tourism indicators
  • Destination management plans
  • Infrastructure capacity studies


  • Trail tourism master plan
  • Working groups to support additions to tourism components
  • Regional collaborative development of a trail tourism strategy
  • Working with destination management organizations to develop local economic opportunities
  • Evaluate the tourism potential of a trail operator

Tourism infrastructure

  • Addition of a specialized trail component to support increased visitation and optimized activity
  • Implementation of recommended actions of trail tourism strategy or master plan

Experience or product development

  • New amenities to meet expected visitor needs with capacity expansion
  • Enhancement of existing trail-related experiences or service upgrades (physical or digital)
  • Additions of products to destination programming
  • Improvement of the tourism potential of a trail operator

Examples of ineligible projects and expenses

  • Creation of business or marketing or communications plans
  • Investment prospectuses for sole benefit of a private operator
  • Marketing campaigns or advertising (print, online or other)
  • Website or brand development

Funding contributions will be based on visitor readiness and may increase or decrease based on the number of applications to this funding stream. Although some examples are listed above, it is highly recommended to contact a Trans Canada Trail representative at and discuss your unique vision and work plan before deciding whether to apply.