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The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is an assistance program of the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Federal transportation funds benefit recreation by making funds available to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non motorized and motorized recreational trail uses.

The RTP funds come from the Federal Highway Trust Fund, and represent a portion of the motor fuel excise tax collected from non highway recreational fuel use: fuel used for off-highway recreation by snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, off-road motorcycles, and off-road light trucks.

RTP funds are distributed to the States by legislative formula. Half of the funds are distributed equally among all States, and half are distributed in proportion to the estimated amount of non highway recreational fuel use in each State. See the Funding Levels by State. The model is base on a report for FHWA by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in July 1999 (PDF - 1,137 KB) -

Each State administers its own program. Contact your State RTP Administrator for guidance on State policies and project eligibility requirements.

The Recreational Program Trails Project Database has been compiled by the Coalition for Recreational Trails from reports supplied by State trail administrators. See

This web site on RTP is designed to interface with the RTP site of the Federal Highways Administration which as of 5/04 has updated their site to a very useful format. My site makes it easy to find what you are looking for. Your first step is to review what RTP can generally be used for (go here). Then download the RTP application from YOUR state. Read it carefully to see what projects qualify (permissible projects) and to find out who can sponsor a project in YOUR state. Email me if you need help.

The BlueRibbon Coalition takes pride in helping to develop the first grant money for recreational trails, particularly motorized trails. RTP funding is 30% motorized, 30% non-motorized, and 40% multiple use (both). Each state pretty much runs its own program though. There is no oversight from the federal level (where the money comes from). You have to work with your State Trails Administrator to see how things work in your state.  I'll be glad to help if I can. Email Del

Read about what RTP can be used for.


Learn more about bureaucracy and things like NEPA

Start your own OHV park and use RTP money.

Get more organized for land use and access involvement

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