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Federal Recreational Trails Program

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. Applications for grant assistance must be received by IDNR no later than March 1 of each calendar year. 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.

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

All 2023 applications must be sumitted in the AmpliFund Grant Management System by 5:00 pm on 3/17/2023.

IMPORTANT:  ALL applicants must be registered with GATA prior to the application deadline date.  For more information on this process, please look here.

Current Year Manual and Forms

Prior Year Manuals and Forms


  • The Federal Recreational Trails  (RTP) grant program will  begin accepting applications on  January 18, 2023 until  5pm on March 17, 2023.
  • All Applicants must be registered with GATA prior to the application deadline date.
  • The Trails Grant Programs requires a non- refundable Application fee.