Recreational trails provide benefits for all of us that include: public health, economic, transportation, and local community pride and identity. The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides funds to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities in Montana.
The 2022 application cycle is now closed. Applications were accepted from January 18, 2022 - February 28, 2022. An anticipated $1.5 million will be awarded this cycle. Awards will be announced in May. Contracts will be issued, and project work may begin, in July and August.
Additional Application Forms
Training sessions for the 2022 Application Cycle were held in December 2021.
Montana State Parks administers the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), a federally funded grants program that supports Montana’s trails.
The RTP funds come from the Federal Highway Trust Fund, and represent a portion of the motor fuel excise tax collected from nonhighway recreational fuel use: fuel used for off-highway recreation by snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles, and off-highway light trucks.
RTP applicants can include federal, tribal, state, county or city agencies, private associations and clubs. Examples of eligible projects include: urban trail development, basic front and backcountry trail maintenance, restoration of areas damaged by trail use, development of trailside facilities, and educational and safety projects related to trails.
Montana State Parks collaborates with the State Trails Advisory Committee to review the RTP applicants each year.
Maintenance and restoration of existing recreational trails
Development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages for recreational trails
Purchase and lease of recreational trail construction and maintenance equipment
Construction of new recreational trails (with specific requirements when federal land is involved)
Acquisition of easements and fee simple title for recreational trail corridors
Assessment of trail conditions
Development and dissemination of publications and operation of educational programs to promote safety and environmental protection
Additional eligible and ineligible project types are discussed in Appendix A of the 2022 RTP Application Guidelines (PDF)
The RTP will allocate at least 30% of all annual funding to uses related to motorized recreation and at least 30% to uses related to nonmotorized recreation. At least 40% of all annual funding will be allocated to diversified recreational use.
Grant applicants may include federal, tribal, state, county, or municipal agencies (including school districts), and private corporations, including nonprofits. An organization can submit only one grant application per grant cycle.
Applications are accepted on an annual basis. Funded projects are typically awarded in late spring and may begin work in mid-summer. Grant awardees have two years to complete project work. The RTP is a reimbursement program. If awarded, an entity may receive reimbursement only after the entity has expended funds on an eligible expense and submitted adequate documentation.
The State Trail Advisory Committee (STAC) serves as an advisory committee to the RTP. Learn more about the STAC
RTP Volunteer Hours Form (PDF)
RTP Limited Solicitation (PDF)
State Trails Coordinator
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks