What are Recreational Trails Programs (RTP)?

Every year, tens of millions of Americans pay federal gas taxes to fuel non-highway recreation equipment like motorcycles, snowmobiles and ATVs. Created by Congress in 1991, the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) puts these tax dollars towards trailhead facilities,
trail construction and maintenance, environmental education materials, and more. RTP unites and benefits various trail users, including equestrians, hikers, bicyclists, cross-country skiers, joggers – even water trail enthusiasts in kayaks and canoes.

1 – Tax Dollars to Trails 
Non-highway vehicle recreation is estimated to generate $300 million in fuel taxes annually. The RTP is funded at $85 million annually. This money is distributed to states, which select which projects to fund.

2 – Matching Dollars
RTP projects require matching funds. These dollars come from various sources, including donations, volunteer labor, and use of conservation corps. Details on projects are in the RTP database at http://recreationaltrailsinfo.org.

3 – Trailheads & Bridges
RTP bridge and trailhead projects have helped make thousands of miles of trails safe and accessible. Some of the projects even provide access to water trails. RTP is key to funding trail projects in many state and federal parks and forests.

4 – Local Economies
Recreational trails are key to America’s outdoor economy. The federal Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that outdoor recreation contributes $778 billion annually and supports 5.2 million jobs.

5 – Access to Healthy
Outdoor Fun. RTP aids the nation in many ways, including better physical and mental health. It helps those with mobility challenges, and millions of Americans with different trail use interests, access our public lands and waters.

For additional information on the RTP, contact the
Coalition for Recreational Trails at www.rectrails.org

The Recreational Trails Program
Improving America’s Trails Since 1991

Recreational Trails Program

• Over 25,000 projects funded.
• Benefitting tens of millions of diverse trail users.
• Administered by states (20% match required from states).
• Funded at less than 1/3 of the revenues generated.
• Applies user pay-user benefit principle of Highway Trust Fund to recreational trails.

Coalition For Recreational Trails www.rectrails.org

Tread Lightly! Partners