Federal Funding for Conservation and Recreation: Trails Funding by the Department of Transportation



Jan. 31, 2009


Joseph Maher


Issue Brief

Reading time

1 minute


The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) of the Department of Transportation (DOT) has emerged as the largest single source of funding for multiuse paths and trails in the United States. Since 1992, transportation enhancement (TE) activities have contributed $5.6 billion1 in federal funds to support more than 14,0002 projects for paths, trails, and bicycle facilities. The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) has funded more than 10,000 projects, awarding $800 million in matching federal grants to states for recreational trails. In this backgrounder, we provide a brief history of DOT funds benefiting recreation as well as program descriptions and funding trends for TE activities and the RTP.


Joseph Maher

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