Oregon Historic Trails Fund

Supporting interpretive, educational and economic projects that preserve and protect the cultural and natural resources of Oregon’s historic trails.


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. An advisory committee made up of people who are knowledgeable about Oregon’s historic trails and cultural resources reviews grant applications and makes recommendations to the OCF board. Approximately $40,000 may be available in one or more grants each year. Applicants will be notified of funding decisions in November. Please review our Request for Proposals for more information.


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.

You can find detailed maps and reports in the Oregon Historic Trails Report Book (1998) and the Request for Proposals.

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

Applications are accepted through MyOCF from June 30 through the deadline of 5 p.m. on August 31.

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.

Required Attachments

  • List of current board members, including affiliations and contact info.
  • Organization budget for current year (or if the organization is 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

Grantees are expected to report on the use of the funds nine months after the award date. The Grant Evaluation Form should be sent to reports@oregoncf.org.

Staff Assistance

For more information, please contact: