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.

  • Administered by SCPRT under the approval of the Federal Highway Administration.
  • Develop or improve trails for off-road vehicles, cyclists/mountain bikers, equestrians, hikers/walkers and kayakers/canoeists.
  • Eligible applicants include state, federal and local government agencies, as well as qualified private organizations.
  • All applications are graded utilizing a competitive Open Project Selection Process (OPSP) — reviewed by a grading team.
  • A 20% match is required — project sponsors make payments (100%) up front and are eligible for reimbursement of up to 80% of total cost.

SCPRT accepting LOIs for Trails and Education Grants

The South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism encourages interested eligible entities to submit a “Letter of Intent” form for grant funding assistance from the Recreational Trails Program (RTP).

The Trails form can be found at this link. The deadline for submission is Mon., Sept. 9, 2019. Project sponsors must submit an LOI by the deadline in order to be eligible to apply for RTP grant funding.

RTP is a federally funded matching assistance program for building or improving trails across South Carolina. This is a reimbursable grant program that requires a 20 percent match. RTP funds are available to state, federal and local government agencies, as well as qualified private organizations.

The minimum grant amount for on-the-ground trail projects is $10,000 with a maximum of $100,000. The total project cost would be at least $125,000 in order to receive the maximum amount of RTP funds. Motorized trail projects are not limited to $100,000. These projects are eligible for the maximum amount of Motorized funding available.

This year, South Carolina will set aside a limited amount of RTP funds for Education projects on a case-by-case basis. Education funding is only available to eligible sponsors who are project-ready — projects must be completed within the 2020 federal fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2019–Sept. 30, 2020). The Education LOI form is due Sept. 4, 2019, and can be found here.


RTP Education funds are used for recreational, trail-related educational programs to promote safety and environmental protection. Eligible elements must directly convey a safety or environmental message.

Education Grant funding has been utilized for chainsaw safety courses, speaker fees, environmental education training workshops and the design of trail brochures, websites and maps. The maximum amount of RTP funding for Education projects is $10,000 and the minimum amount allowed is $1,000. 

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

Please click on the links below for more information on the 2020 RTP grant cycle, the 2018 and 2019 RTP cycle, and additional eligible applicant criteria:

2020 RTP Letter of Intent (Online Form) [Closed]

2020 RTP Application Guidance [NEW]

2020 RTP Education Grant Letter of Intent (Online Form) [Closed]

Tentative Schedule for 2020 RTP Grant Cycle [Updated 9/10/19]

2015–2017 RTP Grant Cycle Summary

2018 & 2019 RTP Grant Cycle Summary

RTP Guidance, Documentation and Forms for Project Sponsors:

Procurement Certification FormReimbursement Request Form | Individual Volunteer Timesheet | Group Volunteer Timesheet | FEMA Equipment Form | Project Completion Form | State Procurement Purchase Procedures [Updated 5/28/19] Program Acknowledgement Sign Requirements | Procurement / Reimbursement Checklist [Updated 5/28/19]2018–2019 Project Status Report  | 2018–2019 Project Status Report [Word]

South Carolina Trails: