Athletic Brewing Co. is Protecting and Restoring Trails Across the Nation

Through their Two For The Trails Grant Program, Athletic Brewing Co. is putting environmental stewardship at the heart of everything they do (and brew!), donating up to $2MM annually to protect the outdoor spaces we love to hike and explore.

Millions of people flock to trails across the country — over 59 million, to be exact — for a myriad of reasons, and while it’s incredible to see more and more people garnering a newfound love for hiking and America’s natural spaces, it means our trails are seeing more traffic than ever before. 

Thankfully, trail stewards like Athletic Brewing Co. are doing their part to ensure that the trails we love to explore are protected and preserved for generations to come through their conservation-oriented grant program, Two For The Trails, and boots-on-the-ground trail stewardship work.

A Tradition-Turned-Mission

What started with a post-hike tradition, turned into the heart of Athletic Brewing Co.’s Two For The Trails Program, named after a co-founder’s family tradition of taking two brews to toast post-trail adventures.

Now, Two For The Trails has taken on a whole new meaning. Since the program’s inception in 2018, Athletic Brewing has donated over $4 million to protect and restore local trails. To date, they have helped fund portions of over 500 trail systems! 

The Two For The Trails program offers grants to trail-based organizations across the country that are tirelessly working to protect outdoor spaces. These funds are essential to the work these organizations do, helping to fuel their efforts in environmental stewardship. 

While initially focused on trail-related grant projects, Athletic Brewing is expanding their reach, noting that, “While the program is titled “Two For The Trails”, we are excited to expand further than just trails, to beaches, waterways, parks, even urban areas in need of outdoor maintenance. We strive to make the outdoors available and safe for everyone.”

This year, the Two For The Trails Program received 441 total applications, with 206 applicants awarded full or partial funds. This means that projects in 42 states (and 2 additional countries beyond the U.S.) will have their stewardship projects funded through the grant, totaling Athletic Brewing’s giving to $1.65MM in 2023.

Meet Some of the 2023 Grant Recipients

The Appalachian Mountain Club – the nation’s longest-serving conservation and recreation organization — is the only organization to receive funding from Athletic every year since its Two For The Trails program launched.

Using Two For The Trails funds, The Appalachian Mountain Club has embarked on an Indigenous History Exploration Project along the New England National Scenic Trail in an effort to cultivate equity and justice in outdoor recreation. Funding is to begin the Indigenous History Exploration Project along the New England Trail (NET) in Massachusetts, which is engaging communities with vital history, amplifying Tribal voices, and connecting trail culture to its ancestral roots.

Richmond Mountain Trails, Bolton VT – “The Driving Range” is Vermont’s first purpose-built, adaptive mountain bike trail network. “This trail initiative, designed for universal accessibility with ample parking, offers an unparalleled riding experience for all riders, and embodies Athletic Brewing’s commitment to enhancing lifestyle, fostering happiness, and positively impacting our community. Leveraging the expertise of  professional builders and over 4,000 hours of volunteer trail work, in 2023 Richmond Mountain Trails successfully completed nearly five miles of the envisioned network. Looking ahead to 2024, the construction of the final two trails will complete the network.”

Friends of Myakka River – “Sharing Myakka’s Backcountry Magic” Myakka River State Park is one of Florida’s oldest and largest state parks, with over 37,000 acres of unique Wild Florida landscapes, waterscapes, flora and fauna.

This project by Friends of Myakka River, a nonprofit that supports the park, will place trail markers in the backcountry, as well as wayfinding trailhead kiosks, therefore empowering and encouraging our community to explore this important undeveloped oasis. “Myakka’s backcountry offers an unparalleled and increasingly rare opportunity to experience expansive Wild Florida ecosystems” said Friends of Myakka River’s Executive Director Miri Hardy. 

Freshkills Park Alliance – “William T. Davis Wildlife Refuge Trail Maintenance” “The Pink Trail is located in the William T. Davis Wildlife Refuge, the first park dedicated to wildlife in New York City, now part of Freshkills Park. Freshkills Park itself is on a former landfill (largest in the world before closing in 2001) and improvements include invasive plant species removal, corridor clearing, installation of water bars and a boardwalk, and trail marker installation to improve access to this natural area.”

When do Applications Open Next?

Applications for grants will reopen in the summer of 2024. 

In looking at the impact of these grants to date, this next round of grants will positively impact an estimated 32 million outdoor enthusiasts with the projects funded through the Two For The Trails program.

When asked who can apply, Athletic Brewing notes, “We encourage any registered LLC with an environmental clean-up project to apply for our grant. While being a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit helps, it is not required.”

Head to Athletic Brewing’s website to learn more about the program and how to apply!