The last three places I’ve wandered — Deep Hollow, the mountain trails to the top of the valley and a trail in Bear Creek — all have fresh examples of ATV destruction, deep gouges and scars in the earth, vegetation smashed, ugly scars left in their place. At Deep Hollow they’ve gouged out deep holes on the main path that are filled with feet of water. I hate these things.
The following column from a couple of years ago was only about keeping them off State Game Lands. Though it will never happen, I’d give anything to never see another one in the woods again.
Thus ends the sermon.
By Bob Quarteroni
Attack? Trespass? Violate?
That’s not what ATV is supposed to stand for but, sadly, far too often that’s the legacy of all-terrain vehicles on state game lands.
It’s a shame. And it’s also illegal.
It’s clear as can be on the Department of Natural Conservation and Resources “Places to Ride” web page:
“ATVs are not permitted on State Game Lands except those used by disabled hunters.”
Which was little comfort when I stood on SGL
While we feel sure that the vast majority ride by the rules, a small — but extremely visible — segment of the ridership have a wanton disregard for not only the laws, but for nature and for civility.
Motorcyle operators like to point out that perhaps only one percent of those riders cause any problems.
The trouble is that that one percent is so seemingly proud of what they do that they often wear “One Percenter” logos or sport the same tattoos.
Nevertheless, motorcylcists have made a clear and strong committment to not only policing their own ranks but to show, by charity “runs,” fundraisers and other similar good works, that they are law-abiding citizens and good neighbors.
The ATV community must do the same.
As the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources says, “Every ATV and snowmobile rider must be an ambassador for the sports. Please give careful consideration to your effect on the trails, environments and others. The future of your sport depends on it.”
So here’s three simple alphabetical suggestions on how to make things better.
A: Address the problem, ATV and snowmobile operators, by letting any outlaws know that they are breaking the laws and hurting the reputation of reputable riders. Peer pressure can work wonders.
T: Teach young and upcoming riders the proper way to ride, legally and safely.
V: Value the land by sticking to legal trails and paths.
The DNCR (ww.dcnr.state.pa.us) has updated its website with new maps and photos of the 968.6 milers of open trail available for public use and the hundred of miles either under construction or proposed.