question Looking for NTEC/NTAC?
You're in the right place! Rails-to-Trails
is providing a new home for these resources.
Transportation Alternatives Data Exchange (TrADE)

Funding Sources

Project sponsors may use the list below as a starting point for research on additional funding sources for their project.  The list is not comprehensive.

Project sponsors must work with their State TA Representative to determine whether these sources may be counted towards the federal matching requirement. 

1. Pedestrian & Bicycle Facilities - Sidewalks, walkways or curb ramps; bike lane striping, wide paved shoulders, bike parking and bus racks; traffic calming; off-road trails; bike and pedestrian bridges and underpasses; ADA compliance.

  • Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (Dept. of Transportation). Provides funds to the states for projects that reduce transportation-related air pollution. Federal DOT funds cannot be counted towards the matching requirement.
  • Recreational Trails Program (Dept. of Transportation). Provides funds to the states for recreational trails for motorized and nonmotorized uses. 
  • Land and Water Conservation Fund (Dept.  of Interior, National Park Service). For planning, acquisition and development of facilities that provide recreational opportunities. 
  • Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund (Rails-to-Trails Conservancy). Provides multiple awards for a total of $85,000 per year to support organizations and local governments that are implementing projects to build and improve multi-use trails.
  • Community Development Block Grants (Dept. of Housing and Urban Development). Awards block grants to rural and urban communities for economic development, including infrastructure improvements.

2. Safe Routes for Non-Drivers: Access and accommodation for children, older adults, and individuals with disabilities.

  • State and Community Safety Highway Grants (Dept. of Transportation). Provides funds to the states to support highway safety programs (roadway and behavioral) designed to reduce traffic crashes.  Federal DOT funds cannot be counted towards the matching requirement. 
  • Safe Kids Campaign. "Walk This Way" program awards grants of $1,000 to coalition members for safety programs.

3. Conversion of Abandoned Railway Corridors to Trails: Acquisition of railroad rights-of-way; planning, design and construction of multiuse trails and rail-with-trail projects.

4. Scenic Turnouts and Overlooks: Construction of scenic turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas.

  • Land and Water Conservation Fund (Dept. of Interior, National Park Service). Provides grants for planning, acquisition and development of facilities that provide recreational opportunities. 

5. Outdoor Advertising Management: Billboard inventories and removal of illegal and nonconforming billboards. Inventory control may include, but not be limited to, data collection, acquisition and maintenance of digital aerial photography, video logging, scanning and imaging of data, developing and maintaining an inventory and control database, and hiring of outside legal counsel.

  • State and local governments, community groups, and Adopt-A-Highway programs may be willing to aid in the control and removal of outdoor advertising.

6. Historic Preservation & Rehab of Historic Transportation Facilities: Preservation of buildings and facades in historic districts; restoration of historic buildings for transportation-related purposes; access improvements to historic sites. Restoration of railroad depots, bus stations and lighthouses; rehabilitation of rail trestles, tunnels, bridges and canals.

  • Save America's Treasures (National Park Service, National Endowment for the Arts, and National Endowment for the Humanities). Provides grants for preservation work on nationally significant historic structures and sites.  Historic structures and sites include historic districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects.
  • Historic Preservation Fund (National Park Service). Provides matching funds to the states for historic preservation planning and engineering, educational materials and reports, and limited restoration work. Grants are administered through the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO).
  • Historic Surplus Property Program (National Park Service). Provides surplus federal properties eligible to state and local governments at no cost.
  • Challenge America Grants (National Endowment for the Arts). Provides grants for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations. Eligible projects include those focusing on the development of cultural tourism and cultural districts, and assisting local economic development and cultural publicity efforts. Architectural studies, design competitions and workshops, or feasibility plans for the renovation, restoration, or adaptive reuse of facilities or spaces for cultural activities. Funding is not available for actual renovation or construction costs.
  • America's Historic Places Grants (National Endowment for the Humanities). Provides grants for the interpretation of historic sites through publications, signage, etc. (non-construction)
  • Implementation Grants (National Endowment for the Humanities). Implementation Grants support the realization of interpretive exhibitions, the interpretation of historic sites, associated interpretive project components (such as publications and public symposia), public programming, and websites.
  • Community Development Block Grants (Dept. of Housing and Urban Development). Grants help in the economic development and revitalization of communities
  • Rural Housing and Economic Development Grants (Dept.  of Housing and Urban Development). Grants support economic activities in rural areas.
  • Rural Development Grant Program (Dept. of Agriculture). Grants promote rural community development projects and planning.
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation. Provides small grants to assist with various aspects of historic preservation. Grant programs include the Preservation Services Fund, the Johanna Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation, and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors. 
  • National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act Pilot Program. This act allows lighthouse properties to be transferred at no cost to federal agencies, state and local governments, nonprofit corporations, and community development organizations for park and recreation, cultural and historic, and educational uses.

7. Vegetation Management: Improvement of roadway safety; prevention of invasive species; providing erosion control.

 8. Archaeological Planning and Research: Archaeological activities related to impacts of highway construction projects.

  • Collaborative Research Grants (National Endowment for the Humanities). Supports original research in the humanities. Archaeology projects that interpret and communicate the results of archaeological fieldwork are eligible. 

9. Stormwater Mitigation: Pollution prevention and abatement activities to address stormwater management; water pollution prevention related to highway construction or due to highway runoff.

  • National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program (Fish and Wildlife Service). Provides grants to acquire, restore, and enhance wetlands of coastal states.
  • Five-Star Restoration Program (Environmental Protection Agency). Provides grants for restoration projects that involve five or more partners, including local government agencies, elected officials, community groups, businesses, schools, and environmental organizations.
  • Water Protection and Conservation Grants (Turner Foundation). Provides grants to protect rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers, oceans, and other water systems from contamination, degradation, and other abuses.

10. Wildlife Management: Reduction of vehicle-caused wildlife mortality; restoration and maintenance of connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats.


Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Railway Conversion Scenic Turnouts and Overlooks Outdoor AdvertisingHistoric Preservation Vegetation Management Archaeological Planning and Research Environmental Mitigation Wildlife