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  1. #1
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    Can ATVs Share the Trails?

    In West Windsor, Vermont, a group is proposing that the town allow ATV's on some of the double-track trails in the Ascutney Trails network. We are talking about 3 miles of the 30 miles in the network, gaining access to a few choice view spots at dead ends.

    Do any of you have experience with ATVs responsibly sharing the trails? How would this impact your decision to bike at Ascutney Trails?

  2. #2
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    Any time I've ridden ATV trails (pretty much every powerline easement in Maine), they are deeply rutted mud bogs. Probably tons of fun on an ATV, but no fun at all by bike. The only exceptions are where it is sandy and well-drained. In those places, it's still rutted, but rideable. I've never ridden at Ascutney, so I don't know the areas you're talking about, but, there's an old saying... "give them an inch, and they'll take a yard".

  3. #3
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    The greater Northfield trail network is shared by ATVs for the last 30 years or so. The ATVers are responsible for keeping the doubletracks open thru the years. The trails they ride do need work, but mostly due to water not ATV traffic. I have seen bike trails degrade faster the the local atv trails due to overuse and inappropriate use. There are no black and white answers. It depends on alot of variables like soil type as well as users self regulation. I think as a user group constantly seeking out access o public and private land for responsible use, we should ecourage access for as may user-groups as possible. VASA and CCC of VT come with resources and can exists farily sustainably IMO.

  4. #4
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    I think the kingdom trails should have ATV/MTB shared trails. our neighbors to the north would love that. ATV's make singletrack into true doubletrack and our neighbors could ride along sceaming, "TABERNAC! TWO RIDER SIDE BY EACH!!!!"

    rog

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbikeski View Post
    In West Windsor, Vermont, a group is proposing that the town allow ATV's on some of the double-track trails in the Ascutney Trails network. We are talking about 3 miles of the 30 miles in the network, gaining access to a few choice view spots at dead ends.

    Do any of you have experience with ATVs responsibly sharing the trails? How would this impact your decision to bike at Ascutney Trails?
    ATVs and UTVs are not just useful for hauling geezers, but are also useful for hauling heavier and bulkier items for trail grooming.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRT_in_WMass View Post
    ATVs and UTVs are not just useful for hauling geezers, but are also useful for hauling heavier and bulkier items for trail grooming.
    They are already permitted for maintenance/construction and emergency evacuation. The request is for recreational use.

  7. #7
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    The noise of ATVs alone is worth disallowing them from the paradise that is STAB. Keep them out, or landowners are liable to assimilate noise and pollution with "trails" and no user group in particular.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRT_in_WMass View Post
    ATVs and UTVs are not just useful for hauling geezers, but are also useful for hauling heavier and bulkier items for trail grooming.
    One of our local builders (Sustainable Trailworks, Hardy I believe) uses one of these for that: Rokon 2-Wheel Drive Motorcycles

  9. #9
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    Jim , To answer your questions directly--here is a similar winter situation--Bretton Woods , Mt. Washington Cross country skiing in NH has over 100 K of groomed trails--great stuff, but there is a Major snowmobile corridor 200 ft. away from the the major access trail and often the stench of gas and noise is enough to go to Waterville valley instead. The bigger question is where do the atv's originate from...local mom and pop taking grandma up to the viewpoint from the farm on Coaching lane OR...They come from the snowmobile/atv/dirtbike lobby and movement-- they have clout, parking lots, thousands of miles of trails already---soon 100 atv's and dirt bikes are blasting up to choice viewpoints,,,the dirt bikers would love to slip onto Mile Long Field and let it rip. I for one will stop recommending Ascutney and stay away.

  10. #10
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    I forgot to mention that use of atv's to build and maintain trails, and public use on the other hand, is like comparing apples and oranges.It is numbers. You should see the trailered atv carivans heading for dedicated (meaning they are allowed) hot spots in Northern and western NH-just blast up I-93 ( or I-91)..let it rip, that is what they do, it is not about Mom & Pop taking a leisurely ride through the woods!!

  11. #11
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    Would not the dirt bikers like to shred kitchell's and atv'ers doing 40 mph on the Vast/Darling hill trails..hill climbing at Highlands.....Just drove four hours on the interstate from PA to get to that sweet single track in Vt.--that pack of 12 atv'ers did not bother me at all....

  12. #12
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    Have any of you who have responded ever participated in motorsports? Judging by some of the answers like the noise complaint in specific, I'd say no. Providing access to open lands for all uers who participate in a sustainable fasion can only help our cause. It's not like you would have to open all trails to all users. In fact, motorized users are ussually looking for access to pass throuh areas of greenspace. Their rides are ussually 70-80 miles and up to hundreds of miles in a day. In general they are not looking to hampster wheel round in a few hundred acers of space. Providing ways through on major class 4 and ancient roads that are somewhat built for heavier use is generally what hey are looking for. In many cases they will actually improve roues they use. Their historical use of land dates back as far, if not predates MTB use in alot of areas. Think inclusively, not excluively. Your arguments sound like the kind of retoric MTBers faced and still face by pedestrian users over the years. How quickly we become what we despise.

  13. #13
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    all you bozos should just get on fatbikes. then it doesn't matter trail or no trail. go ANYWHERE

    rog

  14. #14
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    When I was in Maine ('til '98) the local trails were kept open by ATV's and maybe some dirtbikers - it was highly unusual to see another vehicle, let alone another bike. Deer-drivers, blueberry pickers, and fishermen were more commonly sighted. If ATVs (or snowmachines) were not out, things got overgrown and you were like, those lazy 4wheelers, snowmobilers, etc., where are they? So they really established (or kept clear) the trails where I lived, and I appreciated it. It was pretty sandy there (Crooked River, Harrison & environs) but the other "trails" in the area at the time were skidder trails from logging, which made the ATV tracks look like a dimple. I also recall passing an abandoned 4x4 truck (with winch) in the woods while on a "Bean-boot ride". Aaah, the good old days. But to your question, to this day, i do not object to sharing trails with courteous ATV'rs, hunters, snowmachines, MTBs, etc. There are some rabid anti-ATV'rs in VT, but I can't get behind it.

  15. #15
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    I do both, stumpjumper and a Honda fourtrax 250R and thats how I like it. Mtb elitists are just as bad as idiots on quads. There is room for everyone who is respectful.

  16. #16
    SP Singletrack rocks
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    I know of someone who rides moto on local singletrack, he has been around longer than just about anyone here. hell of rider on pedal power, or moto and you can not tell he has been there unless there is a mud spot with his track in it.

    Out in utah though in american fork canyon a place where motos,horses, hiker, and bikes all used the same singletrack trail a moto roosted away 1/4 of trail it was harsh to the other user groups for sure.

    it a tough call. it would take 100s of gapers on a bike to do the damage of one ******* gaper who just wanted to destroy **** on a moto. but it their land too.....

  17. #17
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    If the trails are adequately signed and your singletrack has tight entrances you would probably be ok. My only concern would be keeping the inevitable bad apples from poaching and blowing out the singletrack.

  18. #18
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    As I understand it Stab and the Ascutney area have turned to MTB's to attract some of the business lost from the closure of the ski area--they are not building these trails for the local bike population. They want to get MTb's there and they have a pretty good shot of rivaling KT for a premier destination in New England. Just off the Intersate, Lodging on site, beautiful scenery, great trails--they do not need to let every potential user in on the action. Surely there are miles of snowmo corridor and 6 th. class town roads in the area for MTV and Dirt bike use. Add up the miles of roads/trails that atv's have already and then add up the miles of MTB trails, for any given town or state. THE problem is always the bad apples, and the more apples you have the more of them will be bad-- great to have the idea that respectful users can all get along but just watch your hard earned singletrack get torn up by just one bad apple and you get pretty deflated. Why is it that KT, Millstone, PHP and any number of dedicated MTB venues do not allow motorized users---must be some reason besides elitism.

  19. #19
    Stubby-legged
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    Maybe yes, maybe no.
    AtV users are a varied bunch. Most are Ok. Small bunch are not. Every multi-use trail that includes AtV suffers damage. In the little world where we ride, they have damaged some trails to the point where we avoid riding there.

    Now, if we could only convince the horse riders to pick up processed hay....

  20. #20
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    Holy Crap, Atv's---could Guide Stones be next!! Or maybe guide stones piled high enough will deter the atv's from the buffed single track.

  21. #21
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    jimbikeski-- Looking at your great trail map 2 things stand out: 1. Non-motorized Recreational Trails just under the Ascutney Trails logo, also the stab mission statement says "used for multiple non-motorized sports"---don't throw this concept out the window just because a few atv'ers want to get on these trails. 2. looking at the map again I see Lots of double track, both on West Windsor TF and resort/private lands---ok, start by giving them 3 miles on TF; doe anyone really believe they are not eyeing up double track on the resort property? And what if the resort decides they can make more money off Atv'ers then they can off MTB'ers? What is the resorts stance on this?

  22. #22
    SP Singletrack rocks
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    Quote Originally Posted by damnation View Post
    Holy Crap, Atv's---could Guide Stones be next!! Or maybe guide stones piled high enough will deter the atv's from the buffed single track.

    wont deter a moto, ATV yes.

  23. #23
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    How about atvers get together, form a community of like-minded individuals, the spend years and thousands of hours building their own trails? Trails designed for vehicles with engines. They could even be alternate routes to the same look outs. Oh wait, why do that when you can thrash existing mountain bike trails?

    Even the increase in bicycle usage on trails these days is causing degradation and erosion. Would those trails would be better off with high powered vehicles?

    I'm OK with multi-use areas, but don't think its a good idea to share the same tracks.

  24. #24
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    talk about 1st world problems

    cut about a mile of new singletrack today. atv's will never find it

    rog

  25. #25
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    I would never propose to open MTB trails to motorizd use. I would propose opening the diggles and ancient roads thru certain riding areas to motorized use. Again not all. Every case is different but we should not have a knee-jerk responce without exploring the possibilities of each specific open space. I had a 4 stroke WR 250 for a while. My bike was not the quitest but I could burp that thing along in very non-invasive way. Any MTBer who has not been on a 100 mile trail ride on a moto would absolutely have a freaking blast. These folks are not our advisaries, they are our closest cousins in the world of land use. Wheels are rad. I think we are on the same team in most land use situations.

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