It's vital that people find ways to engage in physical activity during this time; the benefits to our immune systems and our mental health are significant. But it is critical that we do so in ways that will keep us safe and minimize the spread of COVID-19.

The Rails to Trails Conservancy is urging everyone to practice safe and responsible trail use and self-care at all times.


The FHWA Recreational Trails Program for Louisiana (RTPL) is a Federal-aid assistance program to help States provide and maintain recreational trails for both motorized and non-motorized recreational trails use. The program provides funds for all kinds of recreational trail uses, such as pedestrian uses (hiking, running, wheelchair use), bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving, or using other off-road motorized vehicles.

RTPL is administered by the Louisiana Office of State Parks, Division of Outdoor Recreation. RTPL provides funding for recreational trails in both urban and rural areas throughout the state. The program may be used on any trail that provides recreation.

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) was created by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), reauthorized in 1998 as part of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), again in 2005 through the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), and the 2012 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). Most recently, the RTP was reauthorized as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which covers Fiscal Years 2016 through 2020 and was signed by President Obama on December 4, 2015.

Project sponsors are evaluated and monitored to assure that the projects will be accomplished quickly, the required 20% match is provided, and projects are in compliance with the federal guidelines for the program.

Since 1995 RTPL funding has steadily increased funding and has supported trail development in 63 of Louisiana's 64 parishes.

The UNO Transportation Institute (UNOTI) Plan for Louisiana's Recreational Trails Program (February 2020) PDF document

Application for Recreational Trails Grants PDF document

Frequently asked questions about applying for Recreational Trails Grants



Division of Outdoor Recreation
Office of State Parks
P.O. Box 44426
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-4426
1-888-677-1400 toll free phone
342-8111 in the Baton Rouge area

©2020 Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism