Recreational Trails Program

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a federal-aid assistance program designed to help states provide and maintain recreational trails for both motorized and nonmotorized recreational trail use.

  • Two-year grant cycle.
  • Administered by the Federal Highway Administration.
  • Develop or improve trails for off-road motorcycles, ATVs, mountain bikes, equestrians, hikers and water trails.
  • Eligible applicants must be a state, federal or local government agency or qualified private organization.
  • All applications graded utilizing a competitive Open Project Selection Process (OPSP) reviewed by a grading team.
  • A 20% match is required.

*NEW >> RTP Education Grants

Through RTP, a state may elect to set aside a small percentage of its apportionment to be allocated to educational projects that benefit diverse trail user groups. This year, South Carolina has decided to set aside RTP funds on a case-by-case basis for sponsors who are project-ready and can complete their project within the 2018 federal fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2017–Sept. 30, 2018.)

RTP Education funds are for the development and dissemination of publications of educational programs that promote safety and environmental protection as they relate to the use of recreational trails and provide trail related training. Examples of Education Grant projects include:

  • Training workshops on sustainable trail design, construction and maintenance
  • Speaker fees (directly relating to recreational trails)
  • Wilderness first aid training and CPR courses (directly relating to recreational trails)
  • Chainsaw certification courses (directly relating to recreational trails)
  • Design of trail brochures, websites and maps

The maximum federally funded RTP amount per Education Grant project is $10,000 and the minimum amount is $1,000.

For more information on the Recreational Trails Program—Education Grants, contact the State Trails Coordinator, Neal Hamilton, at (803) 734-0735 or

Please click on the links below for more information on the 2018 RTP Education Grant schedule and additional eligible applicant criteria:

*NEW >> 2018 RTP Education Grant Schedule

*NEW >> 2018 Letter of Intent form for RTP Education Grant