Recreation Trails Program

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Recreational Trails Program (RTP)

The Recreational Trails Program is an 80/20 matching grant program that provides funding for both motorized and non-motorized recreational trail projects. Examples of eligible projects include construction of new recreation trails, restoration of existing trails, development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages, purchase and lease of recreational trail construction and maintenance equipment, land acquisition/easements, trail accessibility assessment. The construction of new recreation trails is given the highest priority.

The RTP is administered at the state level through the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department (NDPRD), and federally through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Applicants may request grant amounts ranging from a minimum of $10,000 up to a maximum of $200,000.

The following entities are eligible and may apply:

  • Cities, counties, and townships
  • Park boards and park districts
  • State and federal agencies
  • Registered non-profit organizations

Please note: Only federal, state, and municipal agencies qualify for funding of equipment for recreational trail construction and maintenance.

Important Information

  • The current application cycle is for FY20 projects.
  • Title VI requirements. 
  • Minimum grant request dollar amount is $10,000.
  • Maximum grant request dollar amount is $200,000.
  • Only federal, state and municipal agencies qualify for funding of recreational trail construction and maintenance equipment.
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Application

RTP Project Selection

The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department (NDPRD) reviews all applications for eligibility before sending them to be scored and ranked by the Recreational Trails Program Advisory Committee (RTPAC). The committee, which consists of trail users who represent a broad range of motorized and non-motorized trails and associations, meets each spring to evaluate the projects.

Once projects are ranked by the RTPAC, they are reviewed by state and federal agencies for environmental and historical clearance. The NDPRD then submits projects to the Federal Highway Administration for final approval.

RTP Funding Source

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a federal-aid assistance program to help states provide and maintain recreational trails for both motorized and non-motorized trail use. The program provides funds for all kinds of recreational trail uses, such as pedestrian uses (hiking, running and wheelchair use), bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, canoe/kayak trails, off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving, or using other off-road motorized vehicles.

The RTP funds come from the Federal Highway Trust Fund and represent a portion of the motor fuel excise tax collected from non-highway recreational fuel use: fuel used for off-highway recreation by snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles, and off-highway light trucks.

The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (USDOT/FHWA) administers the RTP program. The Governor of the state of North Dakota has designated the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department (NDPRD) as the agency responsible for administering apportionments made to the state. RTP funds represent a portion of the federal gasoline tax attributed to recreation on non-gasoline tax-supported roads. The federal government prescribes many of the regulations governing this program.

RTP Sponsor Funding and Title VI

Sponsors who are Title VI compliant may coordinate bidding and procurement on their own. Sponsors must follow the original procurement process for reimbursement. All bidding, procurement, and construction must adhere to Title VI requirements.

Local sponsors must pay all project costs upfront and then request reimbursement. Partial reimbursement may be requested as soon as possible or at least every six months. RTP grants reimburse up to 80% of the total project cost. Project sponsors will not be reimbursed for costs that are incurred before an application is approved and a local grant agreement is signed.

Sponsors who are not Title VI compliant will work with NDPRD during the bidding and procurement process. Project reimbursement in this manner will require the project sponsor to submit contractor invoice or invoices, along with the appropriate 20% match, to NDPRD. NDPRD will then pay the contractor or contractors directly. This process applies to each reimbursement request the sponsor submits to NDRPD.

NOTE: At the time of application, the project sponsor must have at least 20% of the total project cost available to meet the match requirements. The local share may include tax sources, bond issues, force account contributions, donated labor, equipment, and materials.

Funded Projects

Funded North Dakota Recreational Trails Program Projects (2008-2017) by year awarded:

2020 (Projects are currently active.)

  • Bismarck Parks and Recreation District--- Sibley Hiking Trail
  • Bureau of Land Management--- Schnell Ranch Recreation Area Trial
  • Hunter/Arthur JPA Park Board--- Northern Cass Pass
  • Maah Daah Hey Trail Association--- Sully Restoration
  • City of Rolla--- The Legacy Path
  • Pembina Gorge Foundation--- Mountain Bike Trail Phase II
  • NDPRD--- Lake Metigoshe State Park D Loop Dock
  • NDPRD--- Winter Trail Grooming Equipment
  • USDA Forest Service--- Maah Daah Hey Trail Restoration
  • USDA Forest Service--- Buffalo Gap Trail
  • SND--- Program Upgrades 2019
  • Barnes County Soil Conservation District--- Riparian Park
  • City of Lincoln--- Lincoln Shared Use Path

2019

  • Hunter/Arthur JPA Park Board--- Northern Cass Pass
  • NDPRD--- Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park Trail
  • NDPRD--- Kayak Accessibility Project
  • Morton County Water Resource Board--- Harmon Lake Recreation Area Trail Expansion
  • Morton County Parks--- Lewis and Clark Trailside Facilities (Enzel Acres Park)
  • Devils Lake Park Board--- Devils Lake Bike Path Restoration
  • USDA Forest Service--- Maah Daah Hey Trail Improvements
  • SND--- Program Upgrades 2019
  • City of Belfield--- Belfield Dam Walking/Bike Trail Restoration
  • City of Cavalier--- Cavlandic Trail

2018

  • Hunter/Arthur JPA Park Board--- Northern Cass Pass Rails to Trails
  • City of Horace--- County Road 17 Shared Use Path Phase I
  • NDPRD--- Turtle River State Park Trails
  • NDPRD--- Turtle Mountain State Forest
  • Fargo Park District--- Urban Woods and Prairies Path
  • USDA Forest Service--- Maah Daah Hey Trail Restoration
  • SND--- Program Upgrades 2018

2017

  • Bottineau Park District--- Forestry Park Trail Phase II
  • Hunter/Arthur JPA Park Board--- Northern Cass Pass Rails to Trails
  • Minot Park District--- Woodland Trail Phase II
  • NDPRD--- Pembina Gorge Trail Link to Frost Fire
  • NDPRD--- Pembina Gorge Mountain Bike Trail
  • NDPRD--- Turtle River State Park Trail
  • SND--- Program Upgrades 2017
  • USDA Forest Service--- Maah Daah Hey and Buffalo Gap Trail Surfacing and Restoration

2016

  • Bismarck Parks and Recreation District--- Sunrise Shared Use Path-Hitchcock to Northrop
  • Cass County Commission--- County Road 28 Shared Use Path
  • Casselton Park District--- Tinta Tawa Park Resurfacing
  • Hunter/Arthur JPA Park Board--- Northern Cass Pass Rails to Trails
  • NDPRD--- Pembina Gorge Trailhead Overlook
  • SND--- Program Upgrades 2016
  • USDA Forest Service--- Maah Daah Hey Surfacing and Restoration
  • USDA Forest Service---North Country Trail Extension

2015

  • Bismarck Parks and Recreation District--- Edgewood Shared Use Path-East Segment II
  • City of Beach--- Multi-Use Path Phase II
  • City of Milnor--- Multi-Use Path to Park/Pool
  • SND--- Program Upgrades 2015 
  • USDA Forest Service--- Maah Daah Hey 2015
  • Watford City Park District--- Koser Field Walking Path

Full list of projects

 

Title VI

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ensures that no person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination, including sex, age, disability, low-income, or LEP discrimination, under any program or activity for which the Recipient receives Federal financial assistance. It is the policy of the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department to ensure compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and all related statutes or regulations in all programs and activities.

Title VI and Nondiscrimination Program Manual 

Title VI Complaint Form

Title VI Presentation

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Featured Completed RTP Project

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Turtle River State Park Trail Phase II: RTP Project

            There was something missing at Turtle River State Park back in 2018 when park manager, Larry Hagen, submitted his Recreational Trails Program application to construct a trail through Turtle River State Park. “This trail was the missing link. We needed a trail to connect everything,” Hagen said. The Turtle River State Park trail idea was submitted and now visitors can walk from the Visitor Center to the campground to other parts of the park including many of Turtle River State Park’s bridges. “When this trail was established, I had a safe way to take my school groups from the classroom right outside into nature,” Park Interpreter, Erika Kolbow explained. Not only is this trail great for school groups, but other user-groups such as bikers, hikers, cross-country skiers, snowshoers and birders are enjoying the benefits of the trail. Just on the walk that Erika was leading, we saw a wide variety of birds such as the Yellow-rumped Warbler, Dark-eyed Junco, Belted Kingfisher, Hermit Thrush, White-breasted Nuthatch, and Northern Flicker. In addition to these birds, Bald Eagles have been seen in this beautiful woodland habitat. The trail is located alongside the Turtle River where visitors can walk through woodland habitat to end up at many various locations in the park. “We have seen an increase in users at this time. It has been exceptionally well-received and is a great COVID-19 release for sure,” Larry mentioned.