2017 RTP Achievement Awards

Award-Winning Trail and Greenway Projects


Winners have been announced for the 2017 "Annual Achievement Awards" in recognition of outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds. The awards are hosted by the Coalition for Recreational Trails as part of annual efforts by national trails and outdoor recreation organizations to highlight the importance of RTP funding to States across America.

Learn more about the Recreational Trails Program of the Federal Highway Administration



Middle Fork National Recreation Trail Improvements - Oregon

Multiple-Use Management and Corridor Sharing

photo of crew with wood bridge

Bridge under construction on the Middle Fork Trail


This 27-mile riverside trail wanders up the Middle Fork of the Willamette River from Sand Prairie Campground up to the headwaters at Timpanogas Campground. Big old growth trees, wild rapids, fishing holes and excellent hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking opportunities are found in abundance along the trail route.

This project allowed several goals to be accomplished at once in improving the Middle Fork National Recreation Trail. Creeks that are habitat for two endangered fish species were bridged with puncheon and trail bridges, creating safe and stable trail crossings that prevent damage to fish habitat.

In addition, three reroutes were included with this project that allowed 800 feet of flooded and damaged trail to be moved onto a nearby side slope and the improvement of the approach angle and grade for two other trail bridge approaches.

photo of wood bridge

Completed Pioneer Gulch Bridge built with Youth Corps Labor


One bridge, 80 feet long, would have required very large log stringers if it had to be built only with available Forest Service resources. The Recreational Trails Program funding enabled a steel bridge to be installed that used two very large trees as rigging anchors. The result is a more permanent and sustainable solution to a major stream crossing.

Two barriers were eliminated that had created unsafe crossings for equestrian users so that they could use much more of this trail than ever before. The trail is very popular with local and visiting mountain bikers and hikers, but previously did not adequately serve the needs of equestrians. One of the project’s goals was to correct that deficiency and welcome equestrians to ride the Middle Fork National Recreation Trail.

photo of people with award

From left: Derrick Crandall of CRT, Andrea Gehrke, Deputy Director for Recreation, Heritage and
Volunteer Resources, USFS; Ben Johnson, Acting Assistant Director for Public Service, USFS;
Marianne Fowler of CRT


Matching funds came from volunteer labor, Youth Conservation Corps labor paid by the U.S. Forest Service, as well engineering staff and planning labor, also paid by the Forest Service. The Northwest Youth Corps, a private youth job training program, was also involved.

This epic trail winds through stands of mixed conifer, cottonwood, and big leaf maple, which give the visitor many diverse views of changing ecosystems— from riparian zones to high elevation fir. Many trailheads offer opportunities for shorter trips and several of the easily accessible riverside areas receive high use.

This trail makes an excellent mountain bike ride with difficulty level starting at "easy" (near Sand Prairie Campground) and moving toward "most difficult" near the end of the trail at Timpanogas Campground. There is ample opportunity to view wildlife, flowers, waterfalls and portions of the Oregon Central Military Wagon Road. Several sections of the trail are flat and can provide a scenic walk for even the youngest family member.


For more information:

National Recreation Trails Database: www.americantrails.org/NRTDatabase/trailDetail.php?recordID=3817


arrowSee details of trails and projects across the country on the RTP database: www.recreationaltrailsinfo.org

arrow See State by State list of all Recreational Trails Program Awards with links to individual award web pages

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