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Recreational Trails Program (RTP)

Grants to Maine Nonprofits, Agencies, and Landowners
to Construct and Maintain Public Outdoor Trails

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry - Bureau of Parks and Lands

Deadline Date:

09/24/21 5:00 PM


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Grants to Maine nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and private landowners for the construction and upkeep of public outdoor trails and related facilities. Funding is intended to support the development, restoration, improvement, and maintenance of publicly accessible trails designated for either motorized or non-motorized recreational uses.

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is an assistance program of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The RTP provides funds to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for motorized and nonmotorized recreational trail uses.

Eligible projects may include:

  • Maintenance and restoration of existing recreational trails.
  • Development and rehabilitation of trail side and trailhead facilities and trail linkages for recreational trails.
  • Construction of new recreational trails.
  • Acquisition of easements or fee simple title to property for recreational trails or recreational trail corridors.

Eligible Project Costs:

a) Costs associated with project engineering/design and/or project administrative (administering the project, not the grant) costs.

b) Employee salary for “on-the-ground” RTP project work in the field.

c) Consultant/contractor services.

d) Supplies and materials for grant assisted project work.

e) Signs and trail related interpretive aids.

f) Construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance work on trails.

g) Construction of bridges, railings, ramps, fences and retaining structures.

h) Bank stabilization, re-vegetation (excluding ornamental landscaping), and erosion control.

i) Trailhead/side development including parking, restrooms, and related facilities.

j) Acquisition of land or permanent easements essential to trail access and/or trail development.

k) Equipment rental

For more details on eligible projects, see Page 3 of the Program Guidance document in Supporting Documents, below.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 172699

Estimated Size of Grant:

a) Safety and Environmental Protection grant awards will not exceed $5,000.00
b) Development, Acquisition and or Combined grant awards will be funded at two levels:
- Regular grants not to exceed $50,000.00 *Subject to funding level
- Large Scale Projects – one award up to $120,000.00 per funding stream (Diverse, Non-Motorized, Motorized) will be considered.

Term of Contract:

The project period is typically two full construction seasons for development and acquisition projects.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Grants may be awarded to any of the following (providing trail project is open without limitations):

i) Nonprofit organizations
ii) Municipal agencies (cities, towns, counties, school districts, etc.)
iii) State agencies
iv) Federal government agencies
v) Other governmental entities (Indian tribal governments, regional governments)
vi) Private landowners with publicly accessible trails

Applicants with outstanding/incomplete RTP projects from previous years cannot apply for the current round of RTP grants unless all previous RTP projects are completed and closed out (final reimbursement request submitted to STA) by the current RTP application deadline date.

The following types of projects are inconsistent with RTP legislation or State RTP program guidelines, and are not eligible for RTP funding:

a) Condemned Land – The RTP legislation prohibits using RTP funds for condemnation of any kind of interest in property, or use of the value of condemned land toward the match requirement for an RTP project. However, an RTP project may be located on land condemned with funds from other sources.
b) Feasibility Studies – Trail feasibility studies are not permitted in the RTP legislation.
c) Law Enforcement – Routine law enforcement is not permitted in the RTP legislation.
d) Planning – Trail planning is not a permissible use of RTP funds.
e) Road construction, sidewalks, gardening/landscaping, parks or park equipment, sprinklers, or campgrounds are not eligible. Campsites however are eligible.
f) Construction of motorized recreational trails on National Forest land that has been recommended for Wilderness designation.
g) Upgrading non-motorized trails for motorized use, where motorized use is prohibited or has not occurred.
h) Construction/improvements within a federal, state, county, or town road right-of-way.
i) Funding of staff/intern positions not related to a specific RTP-funded project/program.

Not funded:
- Local administrative costs and project indirect costs are not eligible for reimbursement.
- Ineligible costs include but are not, limited to, administrator’s salaries, telephone, postage, food, travel,
(including mileage). If unsure about an item, contact the State Project Officer

For information about ineligible project costs, see page 6 of the Program Guidance document in Supporting Documents, below.

Pre-Application Information:

Application Deadline for all grants: 5PM Friday, September 24, 2021

Applicants must provide at least 20% match for development and safety/environmental protection grants and at least 50% for acquisition projects.

The RTP grant is a reimbursement grant.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Program Contact:

Douglas S. Beck
Outdoor Recreation Supervisor
Bureau of Parks and Lands
54 Independence Drive
Augusta, Maine 04333
(207) 624-6090

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Maine

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