Read the article: “Outstanding State Trail Program” in a national competition.
- Clearing overgrown brush and fallen trees from trails
- Repairing trail damage from floods and fires
- Replacing bridges and drainage structures
Who May Apply?
- Local agencies
- Special purpose districts, such as park and recreation districts, public utility districts, and port districts. These districts must be legally authorized to develop, operate, and maintain recreational facilities.
- Native American tribes
- State agencies
- Federal agencies
- Trail-related, nonprofit organizations
Every 6 years, Congress passes the nation’s surface transportation bill. Since 1991, this massive funding authorization law has included provisions for these cooperative, state-administered grants.
Funding comes from federal gasoline taxes and is awarded every other year.
General projects: $150,000
Education projects: $10,000 each year
While grant applicants are encouraged to bring matching resources to a project to stretch state dollars further, no match is required for applications submitted in 2020.
Match may include the following:
- Appropriations or cash
- Donations of cash, land, labor, equipment, and materials
- Federal, state, local, and private grants
- Applicant’s labor, equipment, and materials
Grant applicants must show compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
- Development: Development of trailside facilities, trailheads, and trail links for recreational trails.
- Maintenance: Maintenance and restoration of trails, trailside facilities, and trailheads. Minor trail relocations.
- Education: Programs to directly convey a safety or environmental protection message for recreational trails.
- New trail development not directly related to an existing trail
- Land acquisition
- Law enforcement
- Projects facilitating motorized use on national forest or Bureau of Land Management land unless the land is not designated wilderness and construction is consistent with the management direction in the forest or Bureau plans.
- Projects facilitating motorized use on or access to recreational trails on which, as of May 1, 1991, motorized use was prohibited or had not occurred.
- Planning, feasibility studies, master plans, and wildlife impact studies
- Roads or bridges unless specifically designated for recreational trail use, not accessible to or maintained for cars, or closely associated with a campground or trailhead project
- Sidewalks and other paths that provide an urban trail experience
- Those that severely restrict public use, such as deed provisions that have a significant negative impact on public recreational use of the property; projects may be on public or private land, but must provide written assurances of public access
- Those on property bought under a conditional sales contract, unless the grant applicant has title to the property
Trails and facilities developed with these grants must be open and available for 25 years.
Projects that maintain trails must be open and available during the active period of the project agreement; however, those that entail capital work to build new trails or facilities or make significant, long-term renewal improvements to existing facilities must be open and available for 25 years. For details, see the grant manual.