Program Overview

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides funds annually for recreational trails and trails-related projects. The RTP is administered at the federal level by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). RTP is administered at the state level by the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). Motorized projects are administered by the Department’s Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division and non-motorized projects are administered by the Department’s Office of Grants and Local Services.

2021 Motorized RTP Grant Cycle

2021 Motorized RTP Recommended Projects:

Eligible Applicants:

  • Cities and Counties
  • Districts
  • State Agencies
  • Federal Agencies
  • Non-Profit Organizations with management responsibilities of public lands

Match Requirement: The applicant is responsible for matching at least 12% of the total project cost. RTP will fund 88% of the total project cost.

Eligible Match Sources:

  • State funds, including State Grant funds
  • Local funds, including general funds and bond funds
  • Private funds
  • Donated materials and services
  • Value of donated land (for Acquisition projects only)
  • Other federal funds

Program Regulations:

The California Department of Parks and Recreation has approved regulations for the Recreational Trails Program. (Title 14, California Code of Regulations Chapter 11.7, Section 4860)

The regulations incorporate the procedural guide below dated "FINAL, June 4, 2007" that became effective on August 14, 2008.

RTP Procedural Guide and FAQs:

The Guide contains all program information and required application documents.

Federal Application Requirements:

Unless otherwise noted, all applicants are required to comply with the following after the State recommends the project for funding:

  • Compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and documentation*.
  • Completion of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 process and documentation.
  • Listing of the project on either the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) or a local Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP), as applicable.
  • For acquisition projects, applicants must obtain an appraisal that conforms to the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions (UASFLA). 

*Note: Completed NEPA is required for projects on federal land prior to the application due date. For more information about these federal requirements, please refer to page 51 in the RTP Procedural Guide. 

More information about these federal application requirements can also be found on page 51 of the RTP Procedural Guide.

Partnership Opportunities:

The RTP encourages applicants to develop cooperative agreements with qualified youth conservation or service corps to perform trail construction and maintenance. The California Conservation Corps (CCC) and California Association of Local Conservation Corps (CALCC) are available to assist with trail construction, maintenance, repair, and restoration. To learn more about how these statewide Corps can assist you, please visit CCC’s website and CALCC’s website.