Press Room

Maine Trails Bond Approved by Legislature

April 16, 2024 (Augusta, ME) – The Maine Legislature today approved the Maine Trails Bond that would provide $30 million over four years to invest in the design, development, and maintenance of trails statewide. In a strong show of bipartisan support, the House voted 133-6, and the Senate voted 29-3, far surpassing the two-thirds majority votes required to pass bond measures. If signed by the Governor, it will appear on the November ballot for approval by Maine voters.

This will be the first time that Maine voters will have an opportunity to vote for a trails bond. At a time when outdoor recreation activities, including on trails, represent a growing segment of Maine’s economy, the Maine Trails Bond has garnered broad, bipartisan support across the state. More than 520 organizations, businesses, and towns have endorsed the Trails Bond, which helped spur the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee on April 9 to unanimously support the measure before sending it to the House and Senate.

“This is terrific news,” said Pete Didisheim, Senior Director of Advocacy at the Natural Resources Council of Maine. “We’re thrilled that Maine voters will have their first-ever opportunity to support a bond that would invest in new and improved trails statewide. These investments in trails will deliver benefits for generations to come.”

The remarkably broad coalition of 520 Trails Bond supporters includes 75 cities and towns, 168 businesses, 41 ATV and snowmobile clubs, 43 statewide organizations, and 193 local organizations. The Maine State Chamber of Commerce, L.L. Bean, Maine Municipal Association, Maine Snowmobile Association, ATV Maine, Bicycle Coalition of Maine, New England Mountain Bike Association, Maine Tourism Association, and Maine Outdoor Brands are but a few of the entities supporting the bond.

The Maine Trails Bond (LD 1156) will provide $30 million in competitive grants over four years to organizations and towns for motorized, non-motorized, and multi-use trail projects. Funds will be managed by the Bureau of Parks and Lands for the design, maintenance, and construction of trails statewide.

LD 1156 was introduced by Representative Jessica Fay (D-Raymond), with cosponsor support from three other Democrats, five Republicans, and one Independent. Reactions to the Legislature’s passage of the Trails Bond include the following:

Representative Jessica Fay (D-Raymond): “Now more than ever, trails are critical to our quality of life and the health of Maine people. I am confident that Maine voters will embrace the Maine Trails Bond this fall, which will help fund trail projects across the state that enrich our lives, communities, and economy.”

Senator Russell Black (R-Franklin County): “For the people in my district in western Maine, trails are part of our heritage of hunting, snowmobiling, hiking, and accessing the outdoors. That’s why I’m pleased that Maine voters will have the opportunity to vote to make Maine trails even better for Maine people and visitors alike, for generations to come.”

Senator Rick Bennett (R-Oxford County): “Local economies across Maine will benefit enormously from this bond. I support the amazing number of organizations across the state who have called on the Legislature to place this measure on the November ballot. This is too good an opportunity to pass up.”


John Raymond, President of ATV Maine and Northern Timber Cruisers: “ATV Maine strongly supports this broad-based, statewide effort to invest in all types of trails for motorized and non-motorized users. We commend the Legislature for deciding to place the Maine Trails Bond on the November ballot.”

Deb Bowker, Recreation Director, Town of Carrabassett Valley: “We’ve seen explosive growth in trail use in Carrabassett Valley over the past decade, and there’s no sign of it slowing down. I’m so grateful that lawmakers decided to give Maine voters an opportunity to vote for the Trails Bond, which could help Maine trails rival any in the country.”

Al Swett, President of Maine Snowmobiling Association: “Maine’s trails and trail clubs bring people together and help them access some of Maine’s most spectacular places. For too long, we’ve been underinvesting in our trails. But that could soon change, if Maine voters endorse the Maine Trails Bond this November – which I think and hope they will.”

Enock Glidden, Outdoor Accessibility Specialist: “As a wheelchair user and lifelong resident of Maine, I grew up in a time when accessibility was not at the forefront of most people’s minds. That’s why I’m so enthusiastic about the Maine Trails Bond. If passed by Maine voters, this bond will help provide new accessible opportunities for people like me to be surrounded by nature and reap the benefits of what Maine’s outdoors has to offer.”

Angela Arno, Executive Director of the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council: “In rural Maine, trails are critical to our way of life and our economic future. The Trails Bond represents an investment in that future, which is why I’m so pleased that Maine lawmakers decided to place it on the November ballot. Maine people will now be the ultimate deciders whether to invest in our trails and the outdoor recreation experiences and economy associated with those trails.”

Gabe Perkins, Co-Coordinator, Maine Trails Coalition and Executive Director, Inland Woods + Trails: “Bravo to the Maine Legislature for recognizing the breadth, diversity, and statewide distribution of this coalition of supporters of the Maine Trails Bond. We appreciate this opportunity to vote for the Trails Bond.”

Kristina Cannon, Executive Director, Maine Street Skowhegan: “Passage of this bond by the Legislature is great news for towns like Skowhegan, where we are doubling down on outdoor recreation as a critical part of our economic future. I’m confident that Maine voters will support the Trails Bond at the ballot box, and the projects that receive funding will provide great value to communities and to the state.”


Jenny Kordick, Executive Director, Maine Outdoor Brands: “The Maine Trails Bond will help reaffirm Maine’s status as a national leader in outdoor recreation and further boost our $3 billion outdoor recreation economy. Investments in trails are an investment in our entire state, helping make Maine a desirable place to live, work, visit, and do business. Our outdoor brand and our outdoor industry will be strengthened by the Maine Trails Bond.”

George O’Keefe, Jr., Town of Rumford Economic Development Director: “The Town of Rumford is pleased to be supporting LD 1156, the Maine Trails Bond, which will greatly increase outdoor recreation funding opportunities. Promoting and enhancing outdoor recreation has been a key part of Rumford’s economic diversification strategy, and we’re excited about the possibility that this bond will be passed and potentially assist our town in building trails in the 450-acre Rumford Community Forest.”

Brent West, Executive Director of the High Peaks Alliance: “Access to the outdoors is Maine’s most important quality. Whether it’s after work, on the weekend, or on vacation, trails are where we all turn to recharge and get away from the problems of the day. We’re excited about this opportunity to improve and expand trail experiences across Maine, with all the benefits that doing so will provide.”


Matt Markot, Executive Director, Loon Echo Land Trust: “Mainers and visitors have long enjoyed access to trails that connect communities to the outdoors, but we can’t take this critical infrastructure for granted. Many other states have been investing in their trails because they understand the return on investment that this infrastructure provides. Now Maine seems to realize the same thing.”


2019 poll by Critical Insights indicated that 74 percent of Mainers would support a trails bond.