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Recreational Trails Program

The Recreational Trails Program provides annual funding to Vermont communities for the development and restoration of public recreational trails.

  • Eligible applicants: Municipalities, non-profit organizations, and other governmental entities
  • Grant amounts: $50,000 maximum with no minimum – 20% match required
  • Current status: Applications submitted in February 2024 are currently under review
  • Funding source: Federal Highway Administration funds

Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grants are federally funded on an annual basis through the United States Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and are administered at the State level in Vermont through the Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation (FPR). FPR makes RTP funds available to Vermont communities for the development and maintenance of public recreational trails, for both motorized and non-motorized recreation. Federal rules and requirements apply. In the 2024 grant round, we anticipate awarding approximately $500,000 to maintain and build trails across the state of Vermont. 

Please use the links below to locate information on this page: 

2024 RTP Timeline

  • Pre-application submission deadline: December 30, 2023 
  • Full application submission deadline: February 11, 2024 
  • Grant application review and selection: mid-February - May 2024 
    • This process requires multiple steps, including scoring and review by the Ranking Committee, FPR agency approval, and Federal Highway Administration authorization 
  • Grant agreement development: May - September 2024 
    • This process includes compliance reviews (Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, state risk assessment, etc.), drafting, state contracting, legal reviews, and applicant review.  
    • Depending on the complexity of the project, how responsive applicants are to requests for additional information, and the results of any compliance reviews, grant agreements may be executed earlier or later during this timeframe. 
  • Grant implementation: Grant agreement execution date through December 31, 2026.  
    • Applicants should plan for projects to begin no earlier than October 1, 2024. 

Eligibility and Requirements  

All projects funded should help achieve the program’s goal of developing and maintaining trails in proximity to all who live in and visit Vermont. Furthermore, all projects are required to help achieve the goals, objectives, and priorities found in Vermont's Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). Federal legislation mandates that RTP funds be allocated across three categories: 30% for non-motorized trail uses, 30% for motorized trail uses, and 40% for multi-use/diversified trail uses.   

Applicant Eligibility 

Who is eligible to apply for RTP grants:  

  • Municipalities (cities, towns, counties, etc.)  
  • Non-profit organizations  
  • State or Federal government agencies, other governmental entities (district or local authorities), or tribal governments 

Project Eligibility 

Eligible projects include: 

  • Maintenance/restoration of existing trails 
  • Construction of new trails, with certain limitations for projects on federal lands 
  • Development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead amenities, facilities, and parking areas (i.e., signage, kiosks, composting toilets, recycle receptacles, or trail structures along the trail, directly associated with the trail) 
  • Land Acquisitions: Acquisition of trail easements or fee simple title to property with trails or recreational trail corridors 
  • Educational projects 

Reimbursement and Match Requirements  

RTP is a reimbursement program, and grantees must be capable of financing the project and (after a grant agreement is fully executed) first paying for expenditures and then submitting a request to the State for reimbursement using the required documentation. Applicants must commit to a minimum 20% match (20% of the total estimated project cost). 

Compliance Requirements 

Projects must demonstrate compliance with State and Federal regulations including but not limited to:  

  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)  
  • Endangered Species Act  
  • Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act  
  • Executive Orders (which include but are not limited to Floodplain Management, Wetlands Protection, Build America/Buy America, Civil Rights Act)  
  • The State’s Permitting Processes  

Application Process and Resources 

This year, there is a two-step application process that begins with a short pre-application submission. Pre-application submissions will be reviewed for compliance with the RTP program. Selected applicants will then be invited to submit a proposal for full review.  Please note: the RTP application process has significantly changed from previous years! 

How to Submit a Pre-Application 

Pre-application submissions closed on 11:59 PM on December 30, 2023.  Submissions required:

  1. Completing the “Pre-Application: Part 1” online form.  
  2. Emailing the following three documents to 

Incomplete proposals after December 30, 2023 were not considered.


How to Submit a Full Application 

If invited to submit a full proposal, the full grant application is offered through the ANROnline portal. To complete your full grant application, you will need to follow the steps below.

  1. Download, review, and complete all other required templates and supplemental materials for your project. 
  2. Complete the 2024 RTP Grant Application Form and submit it online.


Application Resources

Application Guidance and Templates

Grant Program Webinar 

Tuesday, December 5, 2023, 1:00-2:00 PM 

The webinar included a presentation explaining the goals of the grant program, an overview of the process, and eligible activities. 

Our goal is to give everyone an equal opportunity to connect with us. Due to our current staff capacity, we are unable to meet 1:1 with every prospective applicant during the pre-application phase. If the webinar and open office hours don’t work for you, please email your questions to us at  We will only meet 1:1 with applicants if we are unable to fully address questions via email. 

Recordings from Past Information Sessions

Previous Award Announcements

Contact Information

For more information about the RTP please email  

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