The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is an assistance program of the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Federal transportation funds benefit recreation by making funds available to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized and motorized recreational trail uses.
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-road motorcycles, and off-road light trucks.
RTP funds are distributed to the States by legislative formula. Half of the funds are distributed equally among all States, and half are distributed in proportion to the estimated amount of nonhighway recreational fuel use in each State. See the Funding Levels by State. The model is base on a report for FHWA by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in July 1999 (PDF - 1,137 KB) - www-cta.ornl.gov/cta/Publications/OffRoad.pdf.
Each State administers its own program. Contact your State RTP Administrator for guidance on State policies and project eligibility requirements.
The Recreational Program Trails Project Database has been compiled by the Coalition for Recreational Trails from reports supplied by State trail administrators. See www.funoutdoors.info/rtphome.html
Go here for an overview from the Federal Highways Administration: