Recreational Trails Program (Federal)

Recreational Trails Program (Federal)

Funding to provide and maintain motorized and non-motorized recreational trails and trail-related projects.

Eligible Project Criteria

Eligible projects include:

Maintaining and restoration of existing trails
Development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages
Purchase of and lease of trail construction and maintenance equipment
Construction of new trails (with restrictions for new trails on Federal lands)
Acquisition of easements or property for trails
Operation of educational programs to promote safety and environmental protection related to trails

Additional Requirements and Information

A 20 percent match is required.

The minimum grant amount is $5,000. The maximum federal share for a project is 80 percent of eligible costs. Please note that this is a reimbursement program. Grant recipients will only be reimbursed for eligible costs actually expended. No costs or in-kind services incurred prior to FHWA approval of the grant are eligible for reimbursement or use as a match.

This is a reimbursement program.

Funded projects must be identified in, or further a goal of, Iowa’s Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), the Iowa Trails 2000 document or a regional, county or local plan.

All projects selected for funding are subject to all applicable federal requirements and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approval. These requirements may include:

Involvement of the public, including adjacent property owners, in the development of the project.
Conformity with the federal guidelines for the acquisition of land.
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance – verification that the project is not harmful to the environment in the following areas:

Air quality
Cultural resources
Water quality
Farmland protection
Hazardous waste sites

Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Compliance with Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) and Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) regulations.
Compliance with Davis-Bacon wage requirements (only if other federal grant funds are involved in the project).

Additional regulations for work on public lands:

Projects must be open for public use for a minimum of 20 years’ post-completion.
Project site must be adequately maintained for a minimum of 20 years’ post-completion.


Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT)

Eligible Applicants

Public agencies
Non-profit and private organizations (if co-sponsored by a public agency)

Application Deadline

July 1

Award Announcement

The length of the application review/approval process is usually three months with funds available the following October.

Contact Person

Scott Flagg, Program Manager – Federal and State Recreational Trails Programs
Office of Systems Planning
Iowa Department of Transportation
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
Phone: (515) 239-1252