The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a matching reimbursement grant program that provides for the creation and maintenance of trails and trail facilities. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funds the program, which DCR administers in Virginia..
RTP funds come from federal gasoline tax revenues, some of which are used for recreation activities and for non-gasoline tax supported roads. FHWA prescribes many of the regulations governing this program. Grants may go to registered nonprofit organizations, city governments, county governments or other government entities but must be considered in accord with guidance from the Virginia Recreational Trails Program Advisory Committee. The RTP requires that 30 percent of trail program funds be used for motorized (ATV, OHV, dirt-bikes, etc.) recreational trail uses, 30 percent for non-motorized recreational trails uses, and 40 percent for proposals with the greatest number of compatible recreational purposes and/or those that provide for innovative recreational trail corridor sharing (multiple-use trails).
This is a matching reimbursement program. The sponsoring entity must be able to finance the project while requesting periodic reimbursements. All projects must have at least a 20 percent match. Proposals for planning, gap analysis or feasibility studies are ineligible, as are projects involving condemnation.
RTP grants are for recreational trails, not trails with more utilitarian transportation value. Grants usually run from $25,000 to $200,000.
The Virginia Recreational Trails Advisory Committee reviews and scores applications against published scoring criteria. Projects recommended for funding must go through an environmental analysis in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. At a minimum, this includes the Endangered Species Act, Historic Preservation Act, Executive Orders 11988 and 11990 for Floodplain Management and Wetland Protection, and, if applicable to the specific project, a Consistency Determination in accordance with the Coastal Zone Management Act.