Recreational Trails Program

Recreational Trails Program
photo: Sandy Lee Watkins Park Trail, Henderson, KY

Recreational Trails Program

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). It can be used to provide assistance for acquisition of easements, development and/or maintenance of recreational trails and trailhead facilities for both motorized and non-motorized use. The Recreational Trails Program benefits communities and enhances quality of life.

All trails that have received FHWA funding must remain open to the public and maintained for perpetuity.

Who Can Apply:
Eligible applicants are city and county governments, state and federal agencies. Non-profit organizations must partner with a governmental entity.

Application Process:
The 2023 RTP Application is now available to download. To apply, submit an application between January 15 – May 31, 2024.

You must also submit to the State Clearinghouse for the Intergovernmental Review Process or request an update on previous comments to be eligible for funding, as well as to SHPO and US Fish and Wildlife.

The minimum grant request is $25,000.00; the maximum grant request is $250,000.00.

This is a Federally funded, matching reimbursement grant program.

For more information, contact Department of Federal Grants.

Additional Requirements:
To assist Local Public Agencies (LPAs) with executing eligible transportation projects in accordance with federal transportation laws and regulations, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and the Kentucky Division of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have jointly developed the LPA Guide - UPDATED 01/08/2021

Do you know what types of Endangered Species are in your county?

For additional information about endangered species, ecology survey requirements, please contact U.S. Fish & Wildlife or call the Kentucky Field Office at 502-695-0468.

Contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to determine if your project will require permits. Avoid impacts to wetlands; permits will be required if impacted.

Contact the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) to determine if an archaeology survey will be necessary prior to the construction of the proposed project. The Section 106 Review Process must also be completed if selected for funding.

All trail projects funded by FHWA require an ecology survey or a clearance letter from USFW prior to the construction of the proposed project. Please submit all required surveys and/or clearance letters to Jessica Hill.

Most projects will require engineering, will require plans and specs to be approved by KYTC and to complete the KYTC LPA Checklist. Other requirements include a Public Interest Finding (PIF) when utilizing force account or in-kind labor, Construction Inspection Plan, Erosion Sediment Measures, and Engineer Estimate. If Stock Pile Materials are used, there must be verification that it conforms to KYTC standards.

Trail Related Research and Publications:
Trail-related research and publications developed through FHWA or with FHWA support.

- Trail Construction and Maintenance Guide

- Equestrian resources

- Equestrian Trailhead Guide Information

- Mountain bicycling guides

- Park Guidelines for Off Highway Vehicles

- Rail-trail resources

- Youth corps resources

- Several publications through the USDA Forest Service Technology & Development Program and the Mechanized Trail Building Equipment website.

- Support for the National Trails Training Partnership.

RTP 2017 Report .

Easement/Deed Restriction

If the land is publically owned, the LPA can either choose to file an Easement or Separate Deed Restriction. If the land is not owned, both easements must be filed. The easement/deed restriction is required to be filed prior to receiving final reimbursement.
RTP Easement from Citizen to LPA (docx - 34 kb)
RTP Easement from LPA to DLG (docx - 39 kb)
RTP Separate Deed Restriction -Nonmotorized (.doc - 79 kb)
RTP Seperate Deed Restriction -Motorized (.doc - 80 kb)

Reimbursement Forms

RTP Reimbursement Request Form (xlsx - 52 kb)
RTP Reimbursement Requirements (.doc - 27 kb)

Other Downloads

2024 RTP Application (.pdf - 551 kb)
424 D - Assurances (.pdf - 125 kb)
Endangered Species List (.xls - 444 kb)
Kentucky Appraisal Requirements (.doc - 130 kb)
KYTC Equipment Rental Rates (.pdf - 585 kb)
KYTC PreQualified Appraiser List (.doc - 113 kb)
LPA Guide (.pdf - 321 kb)
RTP Closeout Form (docx - 13 kb)
RTP LPA Daily Construction Inspection Report (docx - 26 kb)
RTP Quarterly Progress Report (xlsx - 116 kb)
Utilities and Rail Certification (docx - 56 kb)
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RTP Advisory Committee Meeting Notice

RTP Advisory Committee Meeting Notice

RTP Advisory Committee Meeting

– The next Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Advisory Board Meeting will be held at 10:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday, September 14, 2023. During this meeting, board members will review 2023 RTP applications and make funding recommendations. The meeting is open to the public.

WHAT: Recreational Trails Program Advisory Board Meeting
WHEN: 10:00 a.m. EDT on September 14. 2023
WHERE: Department for Local Government, 100 Airport Road, Frankfort, KY 40601

For more information, contact Office of Federal Grants.

See Also...

Federal Recreational Trails Program
Additional information from the Federal Highway Administration web site.

ADA Guidelines
ADA Guidelines for trails and facilities.

Kentucky Rail Trail Council
Kentucky Rail Trail Council Web Site

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
Department of Governmental Relations web site for additional grant programs.

Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO)
List of all states' Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO)

Kentucky Recreational & Park Society (KRPS)

SHPO Approved Archaeologists
Kentucky Heritage Council keeps a list of firms and universities approved to conduct archaeological surveys.

ATV Safety

Kentucky ATV Trails
List and information of the ATV trails in KY.

KYTC Rail Trail Program
Abandoned Railroads Information and map on the KY Rails Trails Program.

Kentucky Recreational Trail Authority

FHWA Required Posters for Contracts

Kentucky Trail Master Plan

2016 FHWA Recreational Trails Program Annual Report

KYTC 2015 Rail Plan

LPA Project Administration

LPA Project Administration
Additional Guidance for LPA's when administering a RTP project

Land Appraisals

Acquisition of land may be accomplished through purchase, transfer, gift, or other means. All acquisitions must conform to the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970. Please see KYTC Pre-qualified Appraiser List for an appraiser in your area.

All Land Appraisals must adhere to the Appraisal Requirements for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Kentucky Appraisal Requirements