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Coalition for Recreational Trails

Images of trail activities

This database of projects funded under the Recreational Trails Program of the Federal Highway Administration has been compiled from reports supplied by state trail administrators. The Coalition for Recreational Trails appreciates the past and ongoing cooperation of the administrators in this effort.

Most recent database update: June, 2010.

        In 1999, the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT), working in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), developed a database of State trail projects that had received funding from the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). This web site has been developed to store the database online and allow searching the periodically updated database according to state, activity, category and funding level.

2010 Draft Report on State Trail Projects (365 KB PDF)

Search the Project Database

Coalition For Recreational Trails
1225 New York Avenue, NW
Suite 450
Washington, D.C. 20005
FAX 202-682-9529



More Americans than ever before are enjoying our trails - and in more ways than we could have imagined just twenty years ago! They are celebrating:

  • Trails that traverse famed mountains and follow powerful rivers;
  • trails that pass through Wilderness areas, little changed over hundreds of years, and trails through our urban centers; and
  • rails that retrace the treks of pioneers and early settlers and the routes of trains which carried the products of our mines, our forests, and our farms and ranches;
  • trails that are shared by the young and the old, in summer and in winter, and on foot and on bike and on snowmobiles and skis, on horses and wheeled vehicles.

Important national support for trails of all kinds began with the enactment of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) in December 1991 and the creation of a program now called the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). The RTP program was championed by leading national trails organizations. It utilizes Federal excise taxes generated by off-highway recreational use of motor fuels to fund trail projects that assist hikers and bikers, in-line skaters and equestrians, cross-country skiers and ATV-ers, fourwheelers and snowmobilers, motorcyclists and even canoeists! The program also has sparked new cooperation and coordination among trail enthusiasts designed to improve the quality of trails experiences for all - and reduce social and environmental conflicts.


The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) begins with purchases of fuel by off-highway recreation enthusiasts, including motorcyclists, snowmobilers, ATV-ers, and four-wheelers. More than 18 cents in Federal tax is paid on every gallon of fuel used in their fun - representing more than $150 million in receipts every year, according to studies by the U.S. Department of Energy. In 2001 and for the subsequent two years, $50 million of this money is used to fund the Recreational Trails Program, administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). FHWA apportions these funds among the states for a wide range of eligible trail projects, including:

  • maintenance of existing trails;
  • development of trails and certain trailhead facilities;
  • new and replacement trail infrastructure, including bridges and signs;
  • acquisition of trail corridors (from willing sellers);
  • certain state trail program costs;
  • trail safety and environmental mitigation projects.

Federal funding can normally provide up to 80% of project costs - and may go higher when Federal land management agencies are involved-but active and diverse partners often stretch Federal funds much farther. In some states, new sources of matching dollars have been created, ranging from registration fees for bikes and OHV's to state motor fuel tax on off-highway recreation. Individual trail projects are selected by each state, normally in consultation with a state trails advisory committee representing a wide range of enthusiasts.
The program also seeks to be sure all trail activities benefit from the funding, directing specific portions of the available funds to non-motorized and open-to-motorized activity trails. Finally, the program specifically prohibits use of funds for certain purposes, including conversion of nonmotorized trails to use by motorized activities and construction of shoulders along roads.

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