Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Utility Links



  1. Illinois DNR
  2. Architecture Engineering and Grants

Federal Recreational Trails Program

 The Department cannot award grants resulting from these applications until a State budget is approved; submittal of an application will allow the review process to proceed up to the point of award and avoid delays when a budget is in place. Bicycle Path, Off Highway Vehicle, SNOW and STEF grant programs remain suspended until further notice.
NOTE: The Illinois Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Grant manual has been extensively revised and updated; applicants should place particular attention to changes in land acquisition procedures and processes to avoid ineligibility of proposed projects.
The federal "Recreational Trails Program" (RTP), was created through the National Recreational Trail Fund Act (NRTFA) as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and re-authorized by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). This program provides funding assistance for acquisition, development, rehabilitation and maintenance of both motorized and non-motorized recreation trails. By law, 30% of each states' RTP funding must be earmarked for motorized trail projects, 30% for non-motorized trail projects and the remaining 40% for multi-use (diversified) motorized and non-motorized trails or a combination of either.
The RTP program can provide up to 80% federal funding on approved projects and requires a minimum 20% non-federal funding match. Applications for grant assistance must be received by IDNR no later than March 1 of each calendar year. Awards are generally announced within 180 days following the application deadline date.
Examples of eligible project activities include:
  • trail construction and rehabilitation
  • restoration of areas adjacent to trails damaged by unauthorized trail uses
  • construction of trail-related support facilities and amenities
  • acquisition from willing sellers of trail corridors through easements or fee simple title.

Grant assistance from this program cannot be used for the following purposes:

  • condemnation of any kind of interest in property;
  • construction of any motorized use trail on U.S. Forest Service lands designated as wilderness or currently not authorized for such use by an approved management plan; or
  • upgrading, expanding or otherwise facilitating motorized use or access to trails predominantly used by non-motorized trail users, and on which, as of May 1, 1991, motorized use is either prohibited or has not occurred.

IMPORTANT:  ALL applicants must be registered with GATA prior to the application deadline date.  For more information on this process, please look here.



2020 RTP GATA Uniform Budget Template 2019.pdf

Uniform Budget Template Instructions.pdf




  • The Federal Recreational Trails  (RTP) grant program will  begin accepting applications  on  January 14, 2019 until  5pm on March 14, 2019.


  • All Applicants must be registered with GATA prior to the application deadline date.


  • The Trails Grant Programs now require a non- refundable Application fee. Please see Attachment #4    of the Trails manual for further instructions.