Grants & Scholarships


Oregon Historic Trails Fund

Each fall, the Oregon Historic Trails Fund awards grants to support projects that interpret, preserve or maintain Oregon's trail-related resources. Grants may also be awarded for marketing, education, advocacy and research relating to historic trails.

  • Overview


    The Oregon Historic Trails Fund supports interpretive, educational, and economic projects that preserve and protect the cultural and natural resources of Oregon’s historic trails. An advisory committee made up of persons who are knowledgeable about Oregon’s historic trails and cultural resources reviews grant applications and makes recommendations to the OCF board of directors. Approximately $40,000 may be available in one or more grants each year. Applicants will be notified of funding decisions in November.

    Applications are accepted beginning July 10, 2018, through the deadline of 5 pm on August 31, 2018.

    NEW FOR 2018: Applications are accepted through MyOCF, our online application system. Please see the "Application Process" tab for more information.

    Please review the 2018 Request for Proposal form for information about eligibility, competitiveness and request size. 

  • Eligibility


    The fund is dedicated to projects related to Oregon historic trails as recognized by the state legislature in ORS 358.057. These trails include:

    • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
    • Applegate National Historic Trail
    • Oregon National Historic Trail
    • Nez Perce National Historic Trail
    • Whitman Mission Route
    • Upper Columbia River Route
    • Meek Cutoff
    • Free Emigrant Road
    • Cutoff to the Barlow Road
    • Klamath Trail
    • Jedediah Smith Route
    • Nathaniel Wyeth Route
    • Benjamin Bonneville Route
    • Ewing Young Route
    • John Fremont Route
    • Santiam Wagon Road

    For more information, detailed maps and reports can be found in the Oregon Historic Trails Report Book (1998) and the 2018 Request for Proposal Form

    Application Requirements

    • Applicants must be a governmental agency, a federally recognized tribe or be classified by the IRS with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status and further classified as a public charity (as opposed to a private foundation).
    • Investment will be within the state of Oregon but out-of-state partnerships are encouraged.
    • Projects must meet interpretive standards equal to those of the National Association for Interpretation, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, or the American Association of Museums.
    • Priority is given to projects that interpret, preserve, or maintain trail-related resources. Funding also can be used for marketing, education, advocacy, or research related to historic trails.
    • If projects are intended to engage with, serve, and/or highlight specific cultures and populations, staffing and leadership reflect the populations served and/or have actively involved them in the development of the work described. Applicants will be asked to share how their expertise, partnerships and community connections help them carry out this work.
    • Funds cannot be used for administrative or general operating expenses.
    • Large capital construction projects will not be considered.
    • Grants require a 1:1 cash match, but the matching funds may be used for purposes other than the project described in the OHTF grant request.
    • Projects must be completed within one year of the grant payment, unless an extension is permitted by OCF.
    • Funds are distributed when projects are ready to proceed.
    • Grantees are required to submit reports, including the documentation of expenditures, within two months of completing the project.
  • Application Process

    Application Guidelines

    The application window is open from July 10, 2018, through the deadline of August 31, 2018 at 5pm.

    NEW for 2018!

    Applications will be accepted through MyOCF, The Oregon Community Foundation's online grants portal. For organizations who have applied in the past, the format and narrative questions will be fairly similar. Please review the online application questions for guidance if you'd like to preview the questions before you begin your application.

    The application window for the Oregon Historic Trails Fund in 2018 will be open from July 10 to August 31 at 5pm.

    These are documents you will be uploading at the end of your application:

    • List of current board members, including affiliations and contact info
    • Organization budget for current year – or, if organization quite large, just the department budget
    • Most recent audited financial statements, if available
    • 501(c)(3) tax-exemption letter from the IRS
    • Letter(s) of support, directly related to the project (optional)
    • Additional project info: graphic, schematic or timeline (optional)
  • Grantee Reporting

    Grantee Reporting

    Applicants receiving a grant from the Oregon Historic Trails Fund will be expected to report on the use of the funds nine months following the award date. Reports are available here, and should be sent to

  • Staff Assistance

    Staff Assistance

    If you have any questions, please contact: