The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) was reauthorized on July 6, 2012, when the President signed into law the Moving
Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). This guaranteed funding for surface transportation programs at over
$105 billion for fiscal years 2013 and 2014. Funds for the Recreational Trails Program are provided by MAP-21.
The RTP is an assistance program of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). In New
York, RTP is a program of the New York State Department of Transportation administered by the Office of Parks, Recreation
and Historic Preservation (OPRHP).
The Recreational Trails Program is a State-administered, Federal assistance program to provide and maintain recreational
trails for both motorized and non-motorized recreational trail use.
The RTP legislation requires that States use 40% of their funds apportioned in a fiscal year for diverse recreational trail use, 30%
for motorized recreation, and 30% for nonmotorized recreation. Below is a description of project types and their funding category.
Type of Use Examples
NonMotorized Single Use
Pedestrian or equestrian, or bicycle only
Non Motorized Funding
NonMotorized Diverse Use
Pedestrian, bicycle and skate; both pedestrian and equestrian
Non Motorized and Diverse Funding
Equestrian in summer, snowmobile in winter (includes both motorized and nonmotorized trail use)
Motorized Single Use
Motorized Diverse Use
Snowmobile and Motorcycles
Motorized and Diverse Funding
The Priority Evaluation Form is based on the following rating criteria:
- The proposed project must be legally and physically accessible to the public, or be a portion of an identified trailways
project which, when completed, will be legally and physically accessible to the public.
- The proposed project must be physically and environmentally developable as a trailway.
- The proposed project must be planned and developed under the laws, policies and administrative procedures of the State.
- The proposed project must be identified in, or further a specific goal of, a trail plan referenced in the Statewide
Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) required by the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965, or the
State Recreational Trail Plan.
- Project provides for innovative recreational trail corridor sharing for motorized and/or non-motorized use (maximum 5 points)
- Project provides for motorized and/or non-motorized use enhancing the quality and quantity of recreational trail opportunities (maximum 5 points)
- Project provides development of urban trail linkages (maximum 4 points)
- Project is identified in, or furthers a specific goal of SCORP or the State Recreational Trail Plan or a local trail plan (maximum 5 points)
- Index of Need – based on the "Relative Index of Needs" table in SCORP (maximum 5 points)
- Citizens were/will be involved in proposal conception and implementation (maximum 3 points)
- Project ties into other trails, greenways, scenic corridors, or natural, cultural, historical or recreational areas (maximum 4 points)
- Volunteer labor, non-traditional labor and other certified donations will be used to accomplish this project (maximum 6 points)
- Project will utilize existing corridors, (railroad right-of-way, canal towpath, utility lines, publicly owned river valleys or highland ridges, parkways, etc.) (maximum 3 points)
- Project will improve the continuity of a trail system (maximum 4 points)
- Project budget is reasonable, justified and cost-effective. (maximum 20 points)
- Project addresses federal program initiatives (maximum 6 points)
- Regional Economic Development Council Assessment (maximum 20 points)
In addition, the Commissioner may award points based on any of the following Statewide Assessment Factors, up to a maximum of
ten points per project:
- the geographic distribution of other fundable projects in any given application cycle;
- Consideration will be given to projects in areas that have or have not received funding in recent cycles or where funding is not commensurate
with the population of the area. This will be based on the proximity to other funded sites/trails and diversity of projects being funded on a regional
and local basis, as well as the service area of the developed or planned trails.
- the extent to which the project will maximize the accessibility of a trail;
- Consideration will be given to projects where funding will allow for improved access for the general public and linkages to public transportation
- special engineering, environmental and historic preservation concerns or benefits;
- Consideration will be given to develop unique approaches to trail design and construction, and protection of environmental and cultural resources.
This will be based on its uniqueness on a local, regional, statewide and national basis; the ability of an innovative technology to address an emergency
or mitigate future problems; how well a technology can be "exported" for use on other properties and resources; and how/if the project will allow a
user experience that would not otherwise be available.
- the past performance, if any, of the project sponsor on previous projects, including its compliance with Equal Employment Opportunity and
Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise programs;
- Consideration will be given to how timely an applicant completed previous projects, including its reporting requirements; how successful it was in
outreach, especially to minority- and woman-owned firms; the upkeep and maintenance of the property; and its cooperation in allowing OPRHP to
complete inspections and other follow-up actions.
Applications will be reviewed, rated, and ranked by region and funding category. It is not expected that all categories will be funded in all
Prior to submitting your application, please contact your regional grant representative for the date and time of the pre-application meeting or
to schedule an appointment to meet the representative. These workshops and meetings will provide important detailed information to help you
submit a more competitive application.