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Recreational Trails Program Brief

FHWA Contact: Christopher B Douwes, Community Planner
Transportation Alternatives Program / Recreational Trails Program; 202-366-5013.

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides funds to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized and motorized recreational trail uses. Each State administers its own program, usually through a State resource agency.

Eligible Projects

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) reauthorized the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) through Federal fiscal years 2013 and 2014 as a set-aside from the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). MAP-21 also authorized recreational trails as eligible projects under the TAP and under the Surface Transportation Program (STP). Eligible projects are:

States are encouraged to enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with qualified youth conservation or service corps.

Recreational Trails Program Webpages:

Program Guidance:
This page links to the RTP Guidance, other relevant FHWA procedures, financial management, accessibility, and summaries of State practices. The RTP Guidance webpage is consistent with the Transportation Alternatives Program webpage. Some resources applicable to the RTP may be labeled Transportation Alternatives Program, and some resources applicable to TAP may be labeled Recreational Trails Program. These programs can and should work together toward common goals. TAP and RTP program managers should work together.

The RTP Publications page has links to the Trails Publications Order Form, publications available from the USDA Forest Service Technology and Development Program, accessibility publications, and selected trail related publications from Federal Land Management agencies and from nonprofit organizations.

This page links to other related resources and trail interest organizations.

This page lists national trail-related events, at which FHWA attendance is encouraged. Regional or State events are listed on the American Trails Calendar at

Updated: 10/20/2015
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