View Full Version : ATV's and Mountain Biles on trail

02-09-2005, 14:11

I just finished a walk from Rt 16 in Pennsylvania south to Rt 7 in Va. North of Gathland Park in Md. there was at least a mile of trail that was being used by ATV's.

In Virginia from just south of Rt 9 all the way to,and including,the David Lesser Shelter the trail was covered with ATV tracks. And from South of the Blackburn Trail turn off there were ATV tracks and mountain bike tracks. The mountain bike tracks continued clear down to the Rt 601 area.

As one might imagine there was some damage to water bars and wear that would enhance erosion.

I figured someone on here would probably know the right people for the PATC to give a call about this.

BTW: there is also a severe erosion problem underway from about 3/8 mile north of RT 9 in Va for about a 1/2 mile. Really Bad!

Other than that, a good trip. Very slippery in MD.


Tha Wookie
02-09-2005, 14:34
Contact the ATC and they can tell you who maintains it and enforces regulations.

Thanks for the report!

02-09-2005, 14:47
All-Terrain Vehicle sales have mushroomed in the past few years, and current Shrub policies seem to invite more of what you describe, not less. There's a lot of money being made in this "recreational" niche, and you know that means us lowly hikers aren't going to have any clout with those who set land-use policies on Federal land or land supposedly protected by Federal edict. We did under Clinton, sort of, but have close to zero clout with the Bushies.

Having gotten that rant off, it is, as of today, still illegal for the kind of activity occurring where it is in VA that is damaging the AT. Rogue riders, who actually do have plenty of alternatives, are tearing up the Trail that hundreds of volunteers created and improved. But local law enforcement probably doesn't have the resources to do much about it, and likely neither do PATC or ATC. It might be up to some independent-minded volunteers to do what is necessary to build a case against the offenders and make examples out of them.

I'm not suggesting vigilante justice here tho, at least I don't think I am, well probably not.

02-09-2005, 15:37
The inability to get regulations enforced is not an uncommon problem. Here in Virginia we have a very aggressive trout stocking program with (on paper at least) stiff penalties for inappropriately harvesting the fish or fishing without licenses, etc.
However, on several occassions when fishing in one local waterway I've seen people dip seine nets into the creek and take out dozens of the newly stocked fish (highly illegal and in my opinion immoral). Sometimes they leave the stream lifeless in just a few minutes of netting.
When I and other locals try to face these guys down they just act like they dont care. When we've tried to get law enforcement involved we've been told that unless the officer sees it happening there's little that can be done. When we try to get DNR officers out there to watch it happen they claim they're too busy at the moment, but will add it to their list of things to check out.

It drives you mad in the end. Stark raving mad.

02-09-2005, 15:38
sounds like it might be time for some grip hoist work to move some big rocks across the trailheads / access points or if they are close to a road bring in a truck load of boulders

Tha Wookie
02-09-2005, 15:39
Ed told me one time that a little carob syrup in the engine will do wonders for ATV problems. Problem is, he said, is catching them.

But seriously, I don't think there's anything wrong with standing up and not letting them pass -if you're willing to handle their response. You need to be careful around lazy people.

The Solemates
02-09-2005, 15:52
You need to be careful around lazy people.

Thats a great quote.

02-09-2005, 15:54
I know here in NE Georgia there's been a problem with illegal ATV usage, not necessarily on the AT, but in other protected areas. One old roadbed used for hiking (and also ATV use) through a wilderness area with no established trails whatsoever has actually been totally closed to anything but foot travel because of massive erosion, but people still drive over or around berms put up to stop them. It seems like that kind of thing is happening more and more, even with several large parcels of land dedicated solely to ATV use. I'm leaning more and more towards that syrup idea....

02-09-2005, 15:58

I figured someone on here would probably know the right people for the PATC to give a call about this.



02-09-2005, 16:00
Simple signage would help reduce the interlopers:

WARNING: This trail is intended for traveel by foot traffic only. Due to abuse by wheeled vehicles, nails trips have been installed on this trail. Hikers, please watch your step.

The Gnome
02-09-2005, 16:34
"I figured someone on here would probably know the right people for the PATC to give a call about this."

Thanks for raising this problem in an open forum.

I'm a volunteer with the P.A.T.C and I'll see that this report gets to the appropriate trail supervisor.

If anyone spots ATVs or bikes on the trail, please try to get a photograph and report the incident to the police.


02-10-2005, 12:32
[QUOTE=The Gnome
If anyone spots ATVs or bikes on the trail, please try to get a photograph and report the incident to the police.

You might also want to try to contact Ranger Todd Remalie. He used to work @ Shenandoah NP & is now the head Law Enforcement Ranger for the AT under the NPS. Go to nps.gov & get the phone # for their HQ in Harper's Ferry. They can get in contact w/ him.........