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Federal Recreational Trails Program

Note: All 2024 applications must be submitted in the AmpliFund Grant Management System by 5:00 pm on 3/22/2024.

The federal "Recreational Trails Program" (RTP), was created through the National Recreational Trail Fund Act (NRTFA) as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and re-authorized by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). This program provides funding assistance for acquisition, development, rehabilitation and maintenance of both motorized and non-motorized recreation trails. By law, 30% of each states' RTP funding must be earmarked for motorized trail projects, 30% for non-motorized trail projects and the remaining 40% for multi-use (diversified) motorized and non-motorized trails or a combination of either.

The RTP program can provide up to 80% federal funding on approved projects and requires a minimum 20% non-federal funding match.  Awards are generally announced within 180 days following the application deadline date.

Examples of eligible project activities include:

  • trail construction and rehabilitation
  • restoration of areas adjacent to trails damaged by unauthorized trail uses
  • construction of trail-related support facilities and amenities
  • acquisition from willing sellers of trail corridors through easements or fee simple title.

Grant assistance from this program cannot be used for the following purposes:

  • condemnation of any kind of interest in property;
  • construction of any motorized use trail on U.S. Forest Service lands designated as wilderness or currently not authorized for such use by an approved management plan; or
  • upgrading, expanding or otherwise facilitating motorized use or access to trails predominantly used by non-motorized trail users, and on which, as of May 1, 1991, motorized use is either prohibited or has not occurred.

IMPORTANT:  ALL applicants must be registered with GATA prior to the application deadline date. 

Amplifund application

Electronic Payment System for Application Fee

Paper checks or bank drafts may be mailed to:

Dept of Natural Resources


One Natural Resources Way

Springfield, IL 62702


Current Year Manual and Forms

Prior Year Manuals and Forms


  • The Federal Recreational Trails  (RTP) grant program will  begin accepting applications on January 22, 2024 until  5pm on March 22, 2024.
  • All Applicants must be registered with GATA prior to the application deadline date.
  • The Trails Grant Programs requires a non-refundable Application fee.