The Coalition for Recreational Trails​, a federation of national and regional trail-related groups, presented its second annual Achievement Awards​ to seven trail programs and projects for outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds.

The Coalition for Recreational Trails, a federation of national and regional trail-related groups, presented its second annual Achievement Awards to seven trail programs and projects for outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds.

The awards were announced at a special Capitol Hill ceremony that featured remarks from Congressman Thomas Petri, Chairman of the House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Ground Transportation Subcommittee, and Cynthia Burbank, Associate Administrator for Planning and the Environment at the Federal Highway Administration. The Ground Transportation Subcommittee has oversight responsibility for the RTP, which is administered by the Federal Highway Administration.

The trail projects and programs honored for 2000 are:

  • North Augusta Greeneway Bridge Project, North Augusta, South Carolina, in the category of Construction and Design - Local;
  • Heritage Rail Trail County Park, York County, Pennsylvania, in the category of Construction and Design - Long Distance;
  • Thompson "Curve" Trail Restoration Project, Thompson Township, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, in the category of Maintenance and Rehabilitation;
  • New Hampshire Trail Patrol in the Category of Education and Communication;
  • Maah Daah Hey Trail, Billings and McKenzie Counties, North Dakota, in the category of Multiple-Use Management and Corridor Sharing;
  • Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Trail, Union County, South Dakota, in the category of Environment and Wildlife Compatibility;
  • Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail across northern Nebraska, in the category of Accessibility Enhancement.

The Recreational Trails Program, first established in 1991 and then reauthorized as part of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), returns a portion of federal gasoline taxes generated by non-highway recreation to the states for trail-related purposes.

American Trails and organizations across the country are working together to build awareness and understanding of the RTP, to support its effective implementation and to help ensure that it receives adequate funding. For more information on the Recreational Trails Program, and projects funded in all 50 states, see

During the awards ceremony, CRT Co-Chair Dean Tice also reported some of the findings from a recent data-collection effort undertaken by CRT to measure the impact and importance of the RTP. Its review of over 2,500 projects funded by the RTP since the program's inception revealed that:

(1) federal RTP dollars have been matched at least 1:1 nationally by state, local and trail enthusiast funding for projects;

(2) trail and bridge construction and reconstruction have been the leading category of trail projects funded under the program;

(3) projects appear to be benefitting specific trail activities in a way that is generally proportionate to overall public participation in each activity; and

(4) while the size of the projects varies tremendously in scope and cost, the average project received approximately $25,000 from the RTP program.

Mr. Tice also announced that the data-collection effort, which had been undertaken in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, would be continued for a second year, with findings to be reported later this year.


The Recreational Trails Program

The Recreational Trails Program of the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration provides funds to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized and motorized recreational trail uses. RTP funds come from the Federal Highway Trust Fund, and represent a portion of the motor fuel excise tax collected from nonhighway recreational fuel use.

Since 1991, more than 20,000 RTP-funded projects have been funded nationwide and are documented on the RTP database: The RTP leverages hundreds of millions of dollars of additional support from other sources for trails, encourages productive cooperation among trail users, and facilitates healthy outdoor recreation and economic activity across America.