The Trails Grant Programs now require a non-refundable Application fee. Please see Attachment #4 of the Trails manual for further instructions.
NOTE: Please be advised that at this time, applications ARE being accepted for the Federal Recreational Trails (RTP) grant program ONLY. Recreational Trails (RTP) applications are being accepted until 5pm on March 1, 2016.
The Department cannot award grants resulting from these applications until a State budget is approved; submittal of an application will allow the review process to proceed up to the point of award and avoid delays when a budget is in place. Bicycle Path, Off Highway Vehicle, SNOW and STEF grant programs remain suspended until further notice.
NOTE: The Illinois Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Grant manual has been extensively revised and updated; applicants should place particilar attention to changes in land acquisition procedures and processes to avoid ineligibility of proposed projects.
The federal "Recreational Trails Program" (RTP), was created through the National Recreational Trail Fund Act
(NRTFA) as part of the Intermodal Surface Transporation Efficiency
Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and re-authorized by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). This program provides funding
assistance for acquisition, development, rehabilitation and maintenance
of both motorized and non-motorized recreation trails. By law, 30% of
each states' RTP funding must be earmarked for motorized trail projects,
30% for non-motorized trail projects and the remaining 40% for multi-use
(diversified) motorized and non-motorized trails or a combination of
The RTP program can provide up
to 80% federal funding on approved projects and requires a minimum 20%
non-federal funding match. Applications for grant assistance must be
received by IDNR no later than March 1 of each calendar year. Awards
are generally announced within 180 days following the application deadline
Examples of eligible project
Grant assistance from this program cannot
be used for the following purposes:
- trail construction and rehabilitation;
- restoration of areas adjacent to trails
damaged by unauthorized trail uses;
- construction of trail-related support facilities
and amenities; and
- acquisition from willing sellers of trail
corridors through easements or fee simple title.
- condemnation of any kind of interest in
- construction of any motorized use trail
on U.S. Forest Service lands designated as wilderness or currently
not authorized for such use by an approved management plan; or
- upgrading, expanding or otherwise facilitating
motorized use or access to trails predominantly used by non-motorized
trail users, and on which, as of May 1, 1991, motorized use is either
prohibited or has not occurred.
The 2016 Recreational Trails Program Grant application can be completed and submitted ONLINE. Go to the ONLINE forms by clicking here.
the revised and updated Illinois
Recreational Trails Program Grant manual.
You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher
to view this file.
with the 2002 Trails manual, applications can be filled in
using Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher. Instructions
are available by clicking here.
Acrobat Reader is needed to view and print PDF documents. To download
the currrent Acrobat Reader, go to the Adobe Site at
Accessibility tools for Adobe PDF documents are available that allow
visually disabled users to read documents in Adobe PDF format. These
tools convert PDF documents into either HTML or ASCII text which can
then be read by many screen reading programs. These tools can be downloaded
from Adobe at
Return to the Illinois
Trails Grant Programs Page
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