Recreational Trails Program

The 2021 grant cycle is closed


The federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP) was authorized by Congress in 1991 as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. This act established the RTP Funding and the federal Recreational Trails Trust Fund. The act, which has been reauthorized numerous times, required that motor fuel tax revenues generated from the sales of motor fuel for off-highway recreational purposes be transferred from the Highway Trust Fund to the Trails Trust Fund for recreational trail and facility improvements. RTP grants are available for non-motorized and motorized trail projects.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) administers the RTP and appropriates funds to individual states as authorized in the legislation and as appropriated by Congress.

Check Out This Breakdown of Past Utah RTP Projects!


RTP grant applications are available on the Utah Division of State Parks and Recreation website. Applications are updated as the need arises.

All applications are reviewed by Utah State Parks staff for completeness and compliance with applicable laws, guidelines, and directives. Applications are due by May 1 annually.

• Acquisition of property for trails and/or trailheads.
• Maintenance and restoration of existing trails.
• Development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities, including restrooms.
• Construction of new trails which increase regional connectivity.
• Purchase and/or lease of trail construction and maintenance equipment. Equipment made outside of America (Buy America Act) is ineligible.
• Construction of new trails (with appropriate authorizations for new trails on federally-managed lands).
• Purchase or replacement of signs, kiosks, or other wayfinding infrastructure.
• Development and/or dissemination of trail related publications such as maps, safety brochures, etc.*
• The operation of educational programs to promote safety and environmental protection related to trails.*
*Educational programming includes supporting non-law enforcement trail safety, trail use monitoring patrol programs, and/or providing trail-related training. Total awarded educational grant funding is limited to 5% of a state’s total annual RTP funds.

• NEPA not completed (if applicable).
• Project completion scheduled after two (2) years of the granting of RTP funds.
• Incomplete application checklist items.
• Unsigned application.
• Unauthorized personnel as Primary Project Manager.

All funding awarded under the RTP program is subject to a 50/50 sponsor match. Match may be comprised of sponsor cash, in-kind services, volunteer labor, or donations. An additional requirement for a 5% non-federal share is imposed on federal agencies applying for funding. Projects that meet the standard for funding are submitted to the Combined Trails Advisory Council for review and funding recommendation.

The Combined Trails Advisory Council generally meets during June to finalize the recommended award list. The finalized list of projects to be funded under RTP is submitted to the Utah Dept. of Transportation Commission for administrative approval and funding. Projects authorized for funding are placed on the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) list.