Outstanding State Trail Program



One of the Cross Vermont Trail’s Boardwalks

RTP-funded projects must address key findings or desired conditions in Vermont’s Trails & Greenways Plan

Each year’s projects are widely solicited though public outreach, including grant workshops on interactive TV. Grant applications are carefully evaluated, selected and tracked, even down to their GPS location. Trail design standards are required and documented, promoting trail construction or reconstruction being built to the highest possible level of accessibility. Use of youth-service crews is actively encouraged and Vermont’s RTP is reviewed to ensure ease of process, compliance and cost effectiveness.

To help ensure that Vermont’s many trail interests are being addressed effectively by the RTP, multiple-use trail development or reconstruction– including groups of different ages -- are encouraged. Projects designed to minimize or even resolve conflicts are given extra credit in the grant-application process.

Project sponsors build support through collaboration and community partnerships. Fun learning opportunities for civic participation take place with trail projects to allow responsiveness to community-driven trail interests. The Vermont Trails and Greenways Council plays a key role too, providing advice and counsel on all trail-related matters, promoting citizen participation in trail planning, and making sure that all voices are heard within the trails community.

Here are a few examples of creative and effective use of RTP funds:

  • Local Motion, a leading bicycle and pedestrian organization, has collaborated with organizations in Vermont to put together Trail Finder, a Web site resource of collected trail data. Trail Finder provides trail surface, length, permitted uses, available amenities, nearby attractions, and even directions to get there. Trail finder’s goal is to help people get out, get active, and explore Vermont’s beautiful area. Check it out: http://www.localmotion.org/trails/
  • Green River Reservoir State Park’s ADA Boardwalk is a newly constructed accessible trail for wheelchair users and other trail users, allowing all users to experience the serenity of Green River Reservoir with its undeveloped shoreline.
  • The Cross Vermont Trail is a significant multi-use trail funded with RTP and Transportation Enhancement funds over the past decade. Many schools, downtown areas, regional and town trails have been connected to the Cross Vermont Trail. Safe travel to school, recreational use, off-road travel to downtown areas from one neighborhood to the next abound with this project.

One of the most attractive aspects of the RTP is the sense of community that it cultivates among a great variety of trail users. In Vermont, the state RTP took that community building one step further last year, developing the first-ever collaborative National Trails Day event in State Parks, focused on offering a wide variety of recreational trail sessions for school children. It was so successful that this event was offered in two Vermont State Parks this year!

More winners of this award

2021: Maryland State Recreational Trails Program

2019: Vermont

2017: Arizona State Parks and Trails

2015: Montana

2015: Washington

2013: West Virginia

2012: Tennessee Greenways and Trails Program

2011: California

2009: Oregon