The 2023 grant cycle is now closed.
The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a federally funded grant program that aids in the construction, restoration and maintenance of recreational trails. Typically, Utah receives around $1.5 million dollars annually to distribute to cities, counties, non-profits, federal agencies and tribes. The grant is run out of the Division of Outdoor Recreation and applications are open from February to May each year.
The funds from RTP benefit recreation including hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving, or using other off-road motorized vehicles. The following language is taken out of federal legislation in regards to permissible uses for the funding:
- RTP Legislation: 23 U.S.C. 206:
(d) (2) Permissible uses. Permissible uses of funds apportioned to a State for a fiscal year to carry out this section include
- (A) maintenance and restoration of existing recreational trails;
- (B) development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages for recreational trails;
- (C) purchase and lease of recreational trail construction and maintenance equipment;
- (D) construction of new recreational trails, except that, in the case of new recreational trails crossing Federal lands, construction of the trails shall be
- permissible under other law;
- necessary and required by a statewide comprehensive outdoor recreation plan that is required by the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 (16 U.S.C. 460 l-4 et seq.) and that is in effect;
- approved by the administering agency of the State designated under subsection (c)(1); and
- approved by each Federal agency having jurisdiction over the affected lands under such terms and conditions as the head of the Federal agency determines to be appropriate, except that the approval shall be contingent on compliance by the Federal agency with all applicable laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1600 et seq.), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.);
- (E) acquisition of easements and fee simple title to property for recreational trails or recreational trail corridors;
- (F) payment of costs to the State incurred in administering the program, but in an amount not to exceed 7 percent of the apportionment made to the State for the fiscal year to carry out this section; and
- (G) operation of educational programs to promote safety and environmental protection as those objectives relate to the use of recreational trails, but in an amount not to exceed 5 percent of the apportionment made to the State for the fiscal year.
Typical education projects may include:
- Development and operation of trail safety education programs.
- Development and operation of trail-related environmental education programs.
- Production of trail-related educational materials, whether on information displays, in print, video, audio, interactive computer displays, etc.
Check Out This Breakdown of Past Utah RTP Projects!
View Frequently Asked Questions About RTP
RTP grant applications are submitted through the online Salesforce portal at https://utdnror.my.site.com/portal. Applications are updated annually.
- 2023 Grant Portal “How to” slides
- NEPA CONSIDERATIONS
- Any project breaking ground requires environmental clearance regardless of land ownership and RTP project construction may not begin until NEPA has been complete and approved by UDOT and the RTP grant administrator. Applicants should have either completed NEPA or begun the process of obtaining the correct environmental clearance before applying.
- ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
All applications are reviewed by the Division of Recreation staff for completeness and compliance with applicable laws, guidelines, and directives. Applications are due by May 5th 2023.
If you would like a completeness review of your application, please reach out to the Division of Outdoor Recreation staff by April 15th by 5:00 p.m. (MST).
ELIGIBLE PROJECTS & ITEMS
• 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.
DISQUALIFYING APPLICATION TRAITS
• NEPA (environmental clearance) unable to be complete within year of grant award. (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 20% 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.
The Advisory Councils will each meet 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.