2012 RTP Achievement Awards

Award-Winning Trail and Greenway Projects


Winners have been announced for the 2012 "Annual Achievement Awards" in recognition of outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds. The awards ceremony hosted by the Coalition for Recreational Trails was held in Washington, D.C. on June 5, 2012 at U.S. House of Representatives offices.

The awards are part of annual efforts by national trails and outdoor recreation organizations to promote the importance of RTP funding to States across America.

Learn more about the Recreational Trails Program



Swords Park Trail: Phase 2 (Montana)

Environment and Wildlife Compatibility

photo of mother with stroller on trail

The accessible trail is used by a wide range of visitors


The Swords Park Trails project was completed in two phases. The first section was constructed in 2005, using $35,000 in RTP funds and the second section was completed in 2011, using $28,000 in RTP funds, which were matched in both cases by additional funds from a number of different sources and programs.

The ten-foot-wide, hard-surface, multi-use, ADA-accessible pathway runs through the entire length of the City-owned park that is located along the top of the Rimrocks, a geologic formation. The trail is approximately 4.5 miles in length and serves user groups of all ages including bikers, walkers, joggers, skaters, strollers, the physically challenged, and individuals riding in wheelchairs or using adaptive bikes.

The Swords Park Trail provides a link to the bike/pedestrian underpasses that have been placed under 27th Street, Airport Road and Alkali Creek Road as part of a recent reconstruction project servicing Airport Road.

With this trail and the underpasses in place, it links to the trails in the Heights along Aronson Road, and Alkali Creek Road and, with one more trail link, will provide a connection to the Main Street Underpass and the trails through Earl Guss Park up to subdivisions in the Heights and down to the Yellowstone River, thus connecting the riverfront to the Rims, which are two beautiful natural resources in the Billings community.

photo of paved trail with rocky cliffs

The trail runs along the top of the Rimrocks above Billings


The Swords Park Trail provides cultural and natural resource interpretation along the corridor as there are many unique and historically significant features along the Rimrocks. The Swords Park master plan identifies sites along the trail with historic and natural resource information, including the large sandstone and beehive rock formations of the Rimrocks, to educate users and add to their experience.

The Swords Park Trail has included interpretive signage to enhance the trail user’s experience and provide educational and historical information along the route. Through the construction of the trail, the environment has been refurbished and the land has been re-contoured, as it had previously been misused. Now with increased usage of the trail, more people are the “eyes and ears” to help protect the area. New life has come to the park as the wildflowers and other vegetation have been restored, which also protects the wildlife.

For more information:

Darlene Tussing, City of Billings, Planning Department, 3033 Demaret Place, Billings, MT 59106. Phone: (406) 860-6121.


arrow See the roster of all Annual Awards for Recreational Trails Program projects since 1999, sorted by State and by Award Category

Need trail skills and education? Do you provide training? Join the National Trails Training Partnership!

The NTTP Online Calendar connects you with courses, conferences, and trail-related training

arrowEnjoy and share the new online, digital version of the American Trails Magazine!

arrowHelp us provide you more useful resources to keep you on the cutting-edge -- please join today!

arrowWe are advocating for your interests! Visit the Supporting Trails page to view the latest in legislative news, current issues, and opportunities, and to learn how to access funding.

arrow Sign me up for American Trails Action Alerts and e-Newsletters">Sign up for American Trails Action Alerts and Trail Tracks e-Newsletters.


PDF  Some of our documents are in PDF format and require free Adobe Acrobat Reader software.
  Download Acrobat Reader

section 508 logo American Trails and NTTP support accessibility with Section 508: read more.