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DEC tickets minor for ATV use on mountain bike trail

August 17, 2018
By JUSTIN A. LEVINE - Outdoors Writer ( , Lake Placid News

WILMINGTON - State Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers have ticketed a minor from out of the local area for riding an ATV on mountain bike trails in Wilmington.

Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA) reported that ATV tracks had been found on two mountain bike trails early last week, one on state land and the other on private land owned by the Lake Placid Land Conservancy.

BETA Executive Director Josh Wilson said Thursday, Aug. 9 that damage to the trails was minimal, but will require additional work to repair. BETA builds and maintains dozens of miles of mountain bike and ski trails in the Tri-Lakes region, including the Jackrabbit Ski Trail.

Wilson said the first trail is the Three Sisters Trail on Hardy Road. He said the main issue is that mountain bike trails, while having a wider corridor than hiking trails, often are limited in width on the ground to about 18-24 inches. Wilson said the ATVer damaged vegetation outside of the bike trail track.

Then, ATV damage was reported on a newer trail called Beaver Brook.

"It's built as an accessible trail with packed gravel so that a wheelchair can go up the trail according to ADA accessibility," Wilson said. "You could see where the wheels were spinning, and the gravel will probably have to repacked so people can use it."

David Winchell, a spokesman for the DEC, said that one individual had been ticketed for unauthorized motor vehicle use on the Forest Preserve. Winchell said in an email that forest rangers patrol state land, and that certain measures are taken to dissuade illegal motorized uses.

"Signs deterring such use are often posted at appropriate locations," Winchell wrote. "Boulders and/or gates are used to block unauthorized motor vehicle access where appropriate."

Wilson said both locations are posted as non-motorized use areas, but added that he hopes the person ticketed didn't do it maliciously.

"I was a 13-year-old with a four-wheeler once, so I just hope he learned something from it," Wilson said. "As far as 'What did we learn from this?' One person riding one time on an ATV on a trail like this, we see the results.

"It just reinforces the idea that that kind of motor vehicle use on the kinds of trails we're building in Wilmington and on other state land is not really conducive for that kind of use."



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