Recreational Trails Program

Program Overview:  The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides funds annually for recreational trails and trails-related projects.  The RTP is administered at the federal level by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).  It is administered at the state level by the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and the Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Active Transportation Program (ATP).  Non-motorized DPR projects are administered by the Office of Grants and Local Services and motorized projects are administered by DPR's Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division.

The Next Application Deadline will be March 1, 2022.

Application Workshops will occur:

  • Tuesday, November 9, 2021 from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 10, 2021 from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 16, 2021 from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 17, 2021 from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Visit our Eventbrite Page to RSVP for one of the workshop dates above.

Current RTP Procedural Guide, Final, June 4, 2007

Applicants will use this Procedural Guide: (PDF DOC / MS DOC)

Frequently Asked Questions  FAQs 

Eligible Applicants:

  • Cities and Counties
  • Districts
  • State Agencies
  • Federal Agencies
  • Non-Profit Organizations with management responsibilities of public lands

Match Requirement:  The maximum amount of RTP funds allowed for each project is 88% of the total project cost.  The applicant is responsible for obtaining a match amount that is at least 12% of the total project cost.

Eligible Match Sources:

  • State funds, including State Grant funds.
  • Local funds, including general funds and bond funds.
  • Private funds.
  • Donated materials and services.
  • Value of donated land (for Acquisition projects only).
  • Other federal funds.

Federal Application Requirement:  (if selected for funding)
If OGALS selects an application for funding, these federal requirements are to be completed before the grant agreement can be encumbered:

  1. Compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and documentation*.

  2. Completion of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 process and documentation, and

  3. Listing of the project on either the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) or a local Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP), as applicable.

  4. For acquisition projects, applicants must obtain an appraisal that conforms to the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions (UASFLA).

More information about these federal application requirements can also be found in the RTP Procedural Guide, dated Final, June 4, 2007, on page 51.

Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (, signed by President Obama on December 1, 2015, reauthorizes the RTP for Federal fiscal years 2016 through 2020.  California’s annual apportionment is $5,756,189.  The apportionment is separated into three pools of money as shown in the diagram below:

Californias RTP Funding Diagram

Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act or FAST Act Recreational Trails Program Active Transportation Program (ATP) Grants and Local Services Off-Highway Vehicle


Program Information:

The California Department of Parks and Recreation has approved regulations for the Recreational Trails Program.  (Title 14, California Code of Regulations Chapter 11.7, Section 4860)
The regulations incorporate the procedural guide below dated "FINAL, June 4, 2007" that became effective on August 14, 2008.

Payment Requests Required at Least Every Six Months
This letter explains why Grantees must request a payment every six months.  (September 9, 2015)

Partnership Opportunities:
The Recreational Trails Program encourages applicants to develop cooperative agreements with qualified youth conservation or service corps to perform trail construction and maintenance.  The California Conservation Corps (CCC) is one of the many organizations that can assist with trail construction, maintenance, repair and restoration.  To learn more about how the CCC might be able to assist you, please call (916) 341-3100 or visit the CCC’s website.

Additional Resource:
California State Parks Roads and Trails Program:
The Roads and Trails Program provides education and technical assistance to trail and open space managers and advocates regarding non-motorized trail planning, design, construction, funding and management throughout California.  To learn more, call (916) 324-0370 or visit the Roads and Trails Program website.

For Non-Motorized RTP application questions, contact:
Office of Grants and Local Services, Project Officer 

For Motorized RTP project information, please contact California State Parks, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division:

Ethan Mathes
RTP Motorized Grant Administrator
(916) 215-8074