Sunday, November 1, 2009
Some ATV action!!!
In spite of the lousy weather we have been having, I did get out for a ride with my great buddy Tim on the new Rails to Trails project in Washington County, Maine. Still in the works, much of the project is complete and pristine with miles and miles of top quality trails for all the general public to use. So whether you enjoy hiking, running, trail riding, or any other activity, these trails offer a broad range of uses for our area.
I've been able to use these trails on several occasions and feel that as long as the ATV community treats this as a privilege and not a right of access, then I anticipate a lifetime of enjoyable use.
There are a couple of things I need to comment on concerning the video below. First and foremost, I did not wear a helmet today as state law does not require one to do so but I typically wear one if we are riding in difficult terrain or/and at higher speeds. Our travels today did not exceed 25-30 mph on top notch gravel roads, only two access roads that we used to get a snack were of lesser quality. Secondly, we use these trails with respect to others and those who have made it possible for us to enjoy. Without a community of caring, this project has provided a means for ATV usage while negating the issues of private land access. Even though there has been dissent about tearing up the historic and potentially usable railroad lines, I feel that this effort has been well received. Enjoy the video!!!
From the Maine Department of Transportation:
At the initial public scoping meetings in Washington County, a strong desire was expressed for ATV use on the Downeast Trail. In order to try to respond to that request, all terrain vehicle (ATV) use of the two dirt rail-with-trail segments in Washington County is proposed on an experimental basis. The experimental basis will be to insure that ATV use does not affect the safety of non-motorized users nor substantially deteriorate the trail surface such that non-motorized use becomes difficult. The existing ATV clubs in Washington County are seen as essential partners in assisting with the construction and maintenance of the dirt-trail segments and in responding to emergency situations on remote areas of the trail as well as promoting good trail etiquette among motorized users. The proposed reconciliation of motorized and non-motorized usage in select areas will open up the corridor to more user groups. The portions open to ATVs will serve as test sections for the concept of shared use. Transportation enhancement funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation can not be used to fund construction of these trail segments because of a prohibition on motorized vehicles (other than snowmobiles).
Feel free to check out this site concerning the Rails to Trails Program.
Press Release from Maine Department of Conservation