INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb says the first round of the Next Level Trails grant program has received 82 applications requesting a total of nearly $144 million in funding. The applicants span 42 counties and their requests total more than 240 potential miles of hiking, biking and riding trails.

“The number of applications in the first round far surpassed our expectations and shows Indiana’s enthusiasm for trails,” Holcomb said in a news release. “This sends a big message that Hoosiers are invested in improving quality of life across the state.”

The Next Level Trails grant program is the largest trail funding in state history, allocating $90 million to connect communities.

The grant program is part of Next Level Connections, Gov. Holcomb’s $1 billion statewide program.  $20 million in regional projects and $5 million in local projects will be given in this first round. 

 The first awards are expected to be announced in early spring.