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  1. #1
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    Riding PA state game lands, legal?

    I was told it's no longer legal to MTB on State Game Lands in PA. If this is true, is there a way to do it anyway? (i.e. Buy a hunting license and say you're "scouting", etc.) I wouldn't ride during rifle season anyway, but fall is a great time of year. BTW, I do hunt, just haven't done it in the last 3 years or so (busy riding).

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by manowar669
    I was told it's no longer legal to MTB on State Game Lands in PA. If this is true, is there a way to do it anyway? (i.e. Buy a hunting license and say you're "scouting", etc.) I wouldn't ride during rifle season anyway, but fall is a great time of year. BTW, I do hunt, just haven't done it in the last 3 years or so (busy riding).
    [SIZE="2"]Welcome to a BAG OF SNAKES!

    Everyone here on the board has tried to make ground on this subject..try you best shot.......

    Joe Truesdale IMBA rep has been trying for a long time.......... PM him "Hackamo" [/SIZE]
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  3. #3
    Inbred Homebrewer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proformance Cycle

    Joe Truesdale IMBA rep has been trying for a long time.......... PM him "Hackamo" [/SIZE][/FONT]

    It's Transue
    [SIZE="2"][/SIZE]"mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    It's Transue
    It's Transmission

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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn
    It's Transmission

    [SIZE="2"] NICE........LMAO.............. [/SIZE]
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  6. #6
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    http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/pgc/cwp/browse.asp?a=480&bc=0&c=69913&pgcNav=|

  7. #7
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    sorry guys, but haven't been on in a while.

    LSS, if there is green marking(triangles) you can ride it. Translation: mostly fireroads.

    i know there will be some successes coming soon.

    our upcoming TCC visit at French Creek is scheduled just to have land managers on friday and i'm inviting PGC officials.

    when things(me getting my but in gear) get rolling it will be those who are organized and willing to put some solid volunteer hours in are the ones that will have the most success.



    ps i like the "Transedale" b/c i'm still a clydesDALE

  8. #8
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    Here is the loophole in the 2003 law: "This does not apply to anyone lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping or fishing on State Game Lands." You can figure it out from there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by justriding
    Here is the loophole in the 2003 law: "This does not apply to anyone lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping or fishing on State Game Lands." You can figure it out from there.
    [SIZE="2"]NOT a loop hole!

    If you are riding a mt bike you are "supposed" to be on "designated mtb trails" I tried that one with the ranger in my area.. He said "nope won't work" "I can site for not being on a designated trail. The SGL has designated routes for Mt. Bikes if your not on it your riding illegal! You can walk through the woods with your mt bike and then ride in the proper area.

    Sux!
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  10. #10
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    It is somewhat a bag of snakes.

    And we've yet to confuse you with the 'all SGL trails are OK to ride on Sunday' loophole: American Standard in JT

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proformance Cycle
    [SIZE="2"]NOT a loop hole!

    If you are riding a mt bike you are "supposed" to be on "designated mtb trails" I tried that one with the ranger in my area.. He said "nope won't work" "I can site for not being on a designated trail. The SGL has designated routes for Mt. Bikes if your not on it your riding illegal! You can walk through the woods with your mt bike and then ride in the proper area.

    Sux!
    [/SIZE]
    Rangers, like cops, are supposed to enforce laws, not interpret them, and as is often the case, such as your run in with this ranger, they are often wrong.

    The full code section is at 58 PA Code Sec. 135.41. The prohibition at (C)(4) reads: "Ride a nonmotorized vehicle, conveyance or animal, except on roads normally open to public travel, or designated routes as posted, or while lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping or fishing."

    Notice the use of the term "or." The use of this term specifically excludes the prohibition on riding any other route than a road open to public travel or designated routes as posted, if you are engaged in lawfully (ie having a license) hunting or fishing.

    You are free to ride your horse, mountain bike, unicycle, or tricycle across game lands to the bend in the river at your favorite fishing spot. And PA does allow hand lining.

    The reality is that even though the ranger's interpretation is wrong, is it worth the hassle when there are many great places to ride where there are not access issues. I know that the Jim Thorpe trails were seriously impacted by this regulation and some were suggesting this loop hole as a way to ride the trails; don't know if it worked for them or not.

    If you had to fight a citation, I think you would eventually prevail in the courts, based on the rules of regulatory and statutory interpretation. But is it worth it? Personally, I ride to escape the hassles of the daily grind.

    Just putting it out there for anyone who wants to fight the Man.

  12. #12
    my church is the woods
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    depends on your definition of "legal"...

    is driving by a stop sign without coming to a complete stop legal?

    is breaking the speed limit anytime, anywhere legal?

    is driving without a seatbelt legal?

    is growing or consuming certain naturally growing plants or fungus legal?

    is wiretapping our phones, detaining people without warrants, and torture legal?

    The way I see this it that it's not about the trails or who pays for the land or user conflicts or any of that.
    My opinion is that this whole thing is one small step of the creeping fascism in this country. It's the whole mountain biker lifestyle that is under attack by the elite. The fact that most mountain bikers are physically strong, generally free-thinking, kinda anti-authority, know how to navigate the backcountry and remote places quickly and freely, etc. Well, that's just not what this 'new american century' is all about. It's about their national id card control grid, buying the crap their selling you, being apathetic and not questioning authority, becoming obese getting cancer and becoming dependent on big pharma and the for-profit health insurance companies. watching foxnews and listening to rush lim....oops, sorry, wrong forum. thought I was on f=88

    I have a heck of a lot more on my mind to say on this topic, but I'll leave it at that for now.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by justriding
    Rangers, like cops, are supposed to enforce laws, not interpret them, and as is often the case, such as your run in with this ranger, they are often wrong.

    The full code section is at 58 PA Code Sec. 135.41. The prohibition at (C)(4) reads: "Ride a nonmotorized vehicle, conveyance or animal, except on roads normally open to public travel, or designated routes as posted, or while lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping or fishing."

    Notice the use of the term "or." The use of this term specifically excludes the prohibition on riding any other route than a road open to public travel or designated routes as posted, if you are engaged in lawfully (ie having a license) hunting or fishing.

    You are free to ride your horse, mountain bike, unicycle, or tricycle across game lands to the bend in the river at your favorite fishing spot. And PA does allow hand lining.

    The reality is that even though the ranger's interpretation is wrong, is it worth the hassle when there are many great places to ride where there are not access issues. I know that the Jim Thorpe trails were seriously impacted by this regulation and some were suggesting this loop hole as a way to ride the trails; don't know if it worked for them or not.

    If you had to fight a citation, I think you would eventually prevail in the courts, based on the rules of regulatory and statutory interpretation. But is it worth it? Personally, I ride to escape the hassles of the daily grind.

    Just putting it out there for anyone who wants to fight the Man.
    [SIZE="2"]Not arguing, so you are saying if I have fishing or hunting license I am free to ride anywhere in SGL, but you are not deemed fishing till you are at the river or creek so riding is not fishing...You can't hunt from a vehicle, so while riding a mt bike you can't hunt...

    From what I have learned in the past you will not win that statement in court. I have been told it is not a loop hole because it is the call of the ranger as to what you are doing when he sees you. Riding is NOT fishing or hunting...don't get me wrong I'm all for loop holes..[/SIZE]
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  14. #14
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    ya ya... it's the man keeping us down!

    Quote Originally Posted by moonraker
    depends on your definition of "legal"...

    is driving by a stop sign without coming to a complete stop legal?

    is breaking the speed limit anytime, anywhere legal?

    is driving without a seatbelt legal?

    is growing or consuming certain naturally growing plants or fungus legal?

    is wiretapping our phones, detaining people without warrants, and torture legal?

    The way I see this it that it's not about the trails or who pays for the land or user conflicts or any of that.
    My opinion is that this whole thing is one small step of the creeping fascism in this country. It's the whole mountain biker lifestyle that is under attack by the elite. The fact that most mountain bikers are physically strong, generally free-thinking, kinda anti-authority, know how to navigate the backcountry and remote places quickly and freely, etc. Well, that's just not what this 'new american century' is all about. It's about their national id card control grid, buying the crap their selling you, being apathetic and not questioning authority, becoming obese getting cancer and becoming dependent on big pharma and the for-profit health insurance companies. watching foxnews and listening to rush lim....oops, sorry, wrong forum. thought I was on f=88

    I have a heck of a lot more on my mind to say on this topic, but I'll leave it at that for now.

    Actually, I agree with Moonraker. It's all of us giving up our freedom on some Tuesdays in November, but enough of that. The SGL around us (Moonraker and me) are closed to biking, even one jeep trail, that led to the logging they did and the large oil spill from the logging truck, but we are the ones doing the damage? These closed trails are some of the best singletrack around, and we were not enjoying them last Sunday if any one asks. LOL

  15. #15
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    You CAN hunt from a nonmotorized vehicle. Now, I know it's not practical, but legal.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by manowar669
    You CAN hunt from a nonmotorized vehicle. Now, I know it's not practical, but legal.
    Show me where it says that?
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proformance Cycle
    [SIZE="2"]Not arguing, so you are saying if I have fishing or hunting license I am free to ride anywhere in SGL, but you are not deemed fishing till you are at the river or creek so riding is not fishing...You can't hunt from a vehicle, so while riding a mt bike you can't hunt...

    From what I have learned in the past you will not win that statement in court. I have been told it is not a loop hole because it is the call of the ranger as to what you are doing when he sees you. Riding is NOT fishing or hunting...don't get me wrong I'm all for loop holes..[/SIZE]
    I'm not arguing either, just pointing some things out, so next time you get hassled by the Man, you are ready.

    The regulation does not mean you have to actually be hunting from an atv, horse or bike. Those are methods to gain access to your hunting/fishing spot. You slap your license on you, take your hand line and head towards the creek, or to your tree stand, either way you are lawfully engaged in hunting or fishing (depending on the season). Like I said above, rangers, like cops, often make wrong interpretations of the law. Interpretations of law are for the court.

    I have been defending people in court for 8 years for what a cop saw you doing, or not doing, or maybe it was someone else doing it. If I was a gambling man- and I am- I would give you a 80% win on this one in the end. You would lose at district court and win on appeal to common pleas court.

    Anyone who wants to stick his thumb in the eye of the Man (Moonraker I reckon), I'm there for you.

  18. #18
    ganginwood
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    i'm with lee on this. i don't think you can hunt from anything. see #4.
    from the pa code:
    (c) Additional prohibitions. In addition to the prohibitions contained in the act pertaining to State game lands and 135.2, except with the written permission of the Director, it is unlawful to:

    (1) Contaminate, pollute or degrade groundwaters or surface waters or any waterways.

    (2) Graze or permit the grazing of livestock, place or maintain beehives or beekeeping apparatus.

    (3) Solicit, or place advertisements, signs or posters.

    (4) Ride a nonmotorized vehicle, conveyance or animal, except on roads normally open to public travel, or designated routes as posted, or while lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping or fishing.

    (5) Ride a nonmotorized vehicle, conveyance or animal from the last Saturday in September until the third Saturday in January, and before 1 p.m. from the second Saturday in April through the last Saturday in May inclusive, except on Sundays or while lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping or fishing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Aswell
    the 5th poster, ganginwoods, is correct

  19. #19
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by ganginwood
    i'm with lee on this. i don't think you can hunt from anything. see #4.
    from the pa code:
    (c) Additional prohibitions. In addition to the prohibitions contained in the act pertaining to State game lands and 135.2, except with the written permission of the Director, it is unlawful to:

    (1) Contaminate, pollute or degrade groundwaters or surface waters or any waterways.

    (2) Graze or permit the grazing of livestock, place or maintain beehives or beekeeping apparatus.

    (3) Solicit, or place advertisements, signs or posters.

    (4) Ride a nonmotorized vehicle, conveyance or animal, except on roads normally open to public travel, or designated routes as posted, or while lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping or fishing.

    (5) Ride a nonmotorized vehicle, conveyance or animal from the last Saturday in September until the third Saturday in January, and before 1 p.m. from the second Saturday in April through the last Saturday in May inclusive, except on Sundays or while lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping or fishing.
    [SIZE="2"]This is the way they want it. Vague is the way! You really don't know what is correct, so most people told by a ranger "your wrong, and getting fined" will just pay. They are usually threaten by the fact the ranger will site more things that can be added to the violation. The game commission was around before the State Police and they unlike the state can add violations...........correct me if I'm wrong please.............

    So I guess it comes down to "Lawfully engaged in Hunting or Fishing" Are you lawfully engaged in the above if you ride unopen trails or just freeride anywhere? To be deemed fishing you have to at the site near the water.

    I can see someone riding a Mt Bike upstream on the shoreline that way you are near the water, but traveling miles to get to a place riding through the woods seem to be a major loop hole they Game Commission could not let happen. For 22 dollars a year fishing license you could ride anywhere in SGL. I'm already sign up and have the license Yee ha..laughing. yes the hand line is in the camel pack.......

    Also isn't there a rule about being within a few feet of your poles that have lines in the water. I'm not being unruly here just throwing it out to find the correct answers as we all are. I guess hunting would follow a different since you can walk and hunt. But, fishing is usually at one spot unless you are walking or wading a stream or shoreline.

    I tried the fishing thing with the ranger in my area who is a great guy by the way. He said no it's not the loophole you think it is. If you ride areas not designated open to Mt Bikes you are damaging vital plant and ground cover (Trout Lillys) is one that takes 7 years to reproduce.You can be held responsible for damage. I can a test to this because he has joined our trail care group on occasions and has strictly in forced the fact that we are only allowed to trim trails 3 feet wide and 3 feet above our heads.We are less than that as we love singletrack to the point where he has even been surprised that we don't trim wider. ganginwood has ridden at Frances Slocum he can testify to that.

    I asked if hikers can wander off trail, He said no! This might be only in state parks, not SGL though.

    Who can give us the correct info? This is a great discussion![/SIZE]
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proformance Cycle
    [SIZE="2"]This is the way they want it. Vague is the way! You really don't know what is correct, so most people told by a ranger "your wrong, and getting fined" will just pay. They are usually threaten by the fact the ranger will site more things that can be added to the violation. The game commission was around before the State Police and they unlike the state can add violations...........correct me if I'm wrong please.............

    So I guess it comes down to "Lawfully engaged in Hunting or Fishing" Are you lawfully engaged in the above if you ride unopen trails or just freeride anywhere? To be deemed fishing you have to at the site near the water.

    I can see someone riding a Mt Bike upstream on the shoreline that way you are near the water, but traveling miles to get to a place riding through the woods seem to be a major loop hole they Game Commission could not let happen. For 22 dollars a year fishing license you could ride anywhere in SGL. I'm already sign up and have the license Yee ha..laughing. yes the hand line is in the camel pack.......

    Also isn't there a rule about being within a few feet of your poles that have lines in the water. I'm not being unruly here just throwing it out to find the correct answers as we all are. I guess hunting would follow a different since you can walk and hunt. But, fishing is usually at one spot unless you are walking or wading a stream or shoreline.

    I tried the fishing thing with the ranger in my area who is a great guy by the way. He said no it's not the loophole you think it is. If you ride areas not designated open to Mt Bikes you are damaging vital plant and ground cover (Trout Lillys) is one that takes 7 years to reproduce.You can be held responsible for damage. I can a test to this because he has joined our trail care group on occasions and has strictly in forced the fact that we are only allowed to trim trails 3 feet wide and 3 feet above our heads.We are less than that as we love singletrack to the point where he has even been surprised that we don't trim wider. ganginwood has ridden at Frances Slocum he can testify to that.

    I asked if hikers can wander off trail, He said no! This might be only in state parks, not SGL though.

    Who can give us the correct info? This is a great discussion![/SIZE]
    Alright, I will say it again, you do not have to be on your horse or bike while engaged in hunting or fishing; the regulation allows you an exception to move around the game lands while lawfully engaged in hunting or fishing. Again, the ranger is free to make his interpretation, but I maintain that his interpretation is wrong and would not hold up.

    You think government is that smart they would not let a loophole happen? You have some kind of faith in the system. Rangers cannot just add violations, unless they have a valid reason -this isn't Russia-is this Russia? They do what cops do, which is hit you with one violation and as many more as they can reasonably, or unreasonably smack you with.

    Your ranger must have spent to much time alone in the woods skipping from rock to rock so he doesn't hurt the plants, because there is not a hunter in the world that sticks to trails and roads. You are now leaning towards wilderness areas which is a whole other bag of worms.

    BTW - I rode Frances Slocum last week, when I was up in Wilkes Barre for business. You guys have done a spectacular job; superfun build ups -worked on my log hopping skills. Had a great time riding for a couple hours. Ran into the ranger there, he seemed like a good dude for a fascist, told me he even rides back there on occasion.

  21. #21
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    Good job!

    [SIZE="2"]justriding:

    Thanks for the props.. gald you had fun.. Run over any Trout Lillys....joking..I will keep in mind the info you have posted and thanks again![/SIZE]
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  22. #22
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    you know what they say about free advice - you get what you pay for.

  23. #23
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    There was a court case last year, got coverage in some local newspapers in that area, an area that borders the Bald Eagle State Forest in and Hartleton and Millheim, where someone was arrested for hunting (i.e., firing his rifle at game) from a car or an ATV.

    The main point of the case was you can't do that unless you have a special permit from the GC. Even if you have the special physical disability license plates or the blue thing hanging off your rearview mirror, you still need the permit from the GC. And the guy was found guilty, and he was one who should have known better because he was both some type of unpaid/volunteer game warden in the area, and an elected official in a small, local township. Wish I had the link to the series of stories.

  24. #24
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    Still hashing this thing around:


    DESIGNATED ROUTES for Horses and Bicycles
    For each region, there is a list of designated routes. These route designations, which total more than 1,000 miles, are in compliance with State Game Lands use regulations that went into effect on February 1, 2003. Under the new regulations, anyone who rides a non-motorized vehicle, conveyance or animal on State Game Lands must do so only on designated routes. Such riding activities will not be permitted, except on Sundays or on roads open to public travel, from the last Saturday in September to the third Saturday in January, and after 1 p.m. from the second Saturday in April to the last Saturday in May. This does not apply to anyone lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping or fishing on State Game Lands.

    "[SIZE="3"]Such riding activities will not be permitted, except on Sundays or on roads open to public travel, from the last Saturday in September to the third Saturday in January, and after 1 p.m. from the second Saturday in April to the last Saturday in May.[/SIZE]

    This above statement: You can't ride there in hunting season except on Sundays! If you are Hunting, Fishing or Trapping you can't ride there in anyway. Does anyone see it as I do? Am I wrong? This can be taken 2 ways.


    Fishing rules form the Fish Commission:

    FISHING is defined as the act of angling, or to catch, take, kill or remove, or the attempt to catch, take, kill or remove, from any waters or other areas within or bordering this Commonwealth any fish by any means or method for any purpose whatsoever.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proformance Cycle
    Show me where it says that?
    (5) Ride a nonmotorized vehicle, conveyance or animal from the last Saturday in September until the third Saturday in January, and before 1 p.m. from the second Saturday in April through the last Saturday in May inclusive, except on Sundays or while lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping or fishing.

    This may not be the applicable code, but it's pretty common practice to bowhunt deer from canoes/kayaks. It's mentioned regularly in the PGC produced periodicals. Hunting from horseback is also done, although I haven't seen anyone do it recently except the falconers.
    Last edited by manowar669; 06-12-2007 at 10:31 AM.

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