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Grants to Virginia Nonprofits, Tribes, and Agencies for Projects to Enhance Trails for Recreational Use

Recreational Trails Program (RTP)


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)
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Geographic Focus
USA: Virginia

Important Dates
Deadline: 05/09/23 4:00 PM Save

Grant Description
Grants to Virginia nonprofit organizations, municipalities, tribes, and agencies for capital projects that enhance recreational trails and trail-related facilities for motorized and non-motorized recreational uses. Grants are for projects with primarily recreational value rather than those with more utilitarian transportation value.

RTP Legislation (23 U.S.C. 206) dictates categorical requirements for the use of each state’s RTP apportionment: 40 percent of funds apportioned be used for diverse recreational trail use, 30 percent for motorized recreation, and 30 percent for non-motorized recreation.

  • Diversified use project: A project primarily intended to benefit more than one mode of recreational use such as: walking, bicycling, and skating; or both pedestrian and equestrian use; or pedestrian and mountain biking. A diverse use project may also include both motorized and non-motorized uses where motorized use is not the predominant use or when the motorized and non-motorized uses are separated by season, such as equestrian use in summer and snow sports use in winter.
  • Non-motorized project for a single use: A project primarily intended to benefit only one mode of non-motorized recreational trail use, such as pedestrian only, or equestrian only, or mountain biking only. RTP projects serving various pedestrian uses (such as walking, hiking, running, bird-watching, nature interpretation, backpacking, etc.) constitute a single use for the purposes of this category.
  • Motorized use project: A project primarily intended to benefit motorized use. A project may be classified in this category if the project serves only one mode of motorized recreational use or more than one mode of motorized recreational use. A project may be classified in this category if the project also benefits some non-motorized uses (it is not necessary to exclude non-motorized uses), but the primary intent must be for the benefit of motorized use.

Projects recommended for funding must complete an environmental analysis prior to construction in accordance with federal and state regulations. Projects must also be undertaken in accordance with the Buy America Act and Presidential Executive Order 14005.

Eligible Projects 

RTP funding may be used for:

  • Maintenance and restoration of existing recreational trails;
  • Development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and/or amenities;
  • Provision of features that facilitate access and use of trails by persons with disabilities;
  • Lease of recreational trail maintenance equipment; and
  • Assessment of trail conditions for accessibility and maintenance. 

Recreational trails are defined in the RTP regulations as a thoroughfare or track across land or snow used for recreational purposes. These recreational purposes can include:

  • Traditional pedestrian-oriented activities such as hiking and jogging;
  • Skating and skateboarding;
  • Equestrian activities;
  • Bicycling and mountain biking;
  • Activities on water trails such as kayaking and canoeing; and
  • Motorized recreational activities such as all-terrain, utility-terrain, or other off-road vehicle riding, motorcycling, motor boating on water trails, and electric biking. 

Project applications must describe how a project will provide access for people with disabilities, not simply state that the project will comply with all legal requirements. 

For information on eligible project costs, see:


Additional Eligibility Criteria
RTP funding may be awarded to any of the following*:
- Municipalities (cities, towns, counties, etc.);
- Tribes;
- State agencies (Dept. of Forestry, Wildlife Resources, etc.);
- Federal government agencies (combined total of RTP funds and matching federal agency funds cannot exceed 95% of project cost in certain circumstances);
- Other government entities (regional park authorities, etc.);
- Non-profit organizations [requires letters of support from landowner (if property not owned by applicant) and local government body].
o If selected, non-profit organizations may be asked to provide additional financial records and documentation on land use agreements.

Entities that are already underway with a current RTP grant are eligible only if their project is nearing completion in both the diversified and non-motorized single use categories.

RTP funding may not be used for:
- Condemnation of any kind of interest in property.
- Upgrading, expanding, or otherwise facilitating motorized use or access to trails that prior to May 1, 1991, were predominantly used by non-motorized trail users, and on which motorized use was either prohibited or had not occurred.
- Planning proposals, gap analysis, and feasibility studies.
- RTP funds cannot be used to provide sidewalks along or adjacent to public roads or streets. The Virginia Department of Transportation may have funding available to assist with these types of facilities.

Pre-Proposal Conference
An informational webinar on the RTP program and this year’s eligibility and application processes will be held on Wednesday March 22, 2023, at 1 p.m. The webinar will be recorded and posted to this webpage.

Register now:,LBph4t1ZFki_UuAwwebatg,yFxV8S9ZGk-VOeyAgZAPgg,CQ5MX_y5J0au7nyMov7cEg,16sNF1JSuk6icxwxb4TsbA,fW_HWZU7FUy5MIYABe1gpQ?mode=read&tenantId=620ae5a9-4ec1-4fa0-8641-5d9f386c7309&webinarRing=gcc

Pre-Application Information
Applications are due via email by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9, 2023.

The anticipated timeline for the 2023 grant cycle is as follows:
- March 14, 2023: Grant round opens
- May 9, 2023 4:00PM: Application deadline
- May – June 2023: Applications reviewed by DCR and Advisory Committee
- Late June 2023: Applicants of projects recommended for funding are contacted
- July 2023: Applicants not recommended for funding are notified
- July 2023: Site inspections and preparing documents for FHWA authorization request
- August 2023: Project authorizations and release of grant agreements
- September 2023: Agreement execution

Applicants should have the right of way secured (deed, easement, license agreement, etc.) or commitments (purchase agreement, option, letter from owner indicating willingness to sell to applicant, etc.) for the right of way in place prior to applying for RTP funding. For additional information, see:

The RTP is a reimbursement program, meaning that the applicant must be capable of financing the project upfront while requesting periodic reimbursements. The program will reimburse up to 80% of eligible project costs. Recipients are responsible for at least 20% of project costs.

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants
It is anticipated that 3-6 grants may be awarded in the diversified category, 3-6 grants in the non-motorized category, and 2-4 grants in the motorized category.

Estimated Size of Grant
The approximate funds available for the 2023 grant round are as follows:
• Diversified category - $580,000
- Minimum request - $25,000, maximum request - $250,000
• Non-motorized single use category - $435,000
- Minimum request - $25,000, maximum request - $250,000
• Motorized category - $435,000
- Minimum request - $25,000, maximum request - $435,000

Contact Information
Applications are due via email to

If the answer to your question is not in the VA RTP Manual above, contact Recreation Grants staff, at the above email address, or call Recreation Grants Coordinator Kellie Seaton at 804-786-1119.

If you are unable to download or use the application documents, please use the above contact information to obtain an alternative format of the application.

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
600 East Main Street, 24th floor
Richmond, VA 23219-2094

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