filed under: maintenance best practices
Off-road vehicles can have a substantial impact on the experience of other non-motorized visitors on trails that are shared or even on adjacent forest or park settings.
ORV riding, particularly ATVs, have been cited as an increasing social problem related to conflicts with other outdoor visitors. Off-road vehicles can have a substantial impact on the experience of other non-motorized visitors on trails that are shared or even on adjacent forest or park settings. The intrusion of engine noises disrupts the natural quiet and solitude that many visitors are seeking in protected areas (Webb & Wilshire 1983). Visitor safety can be threatened by the fast-moving machines along woodland trails due to their limited visibility from changing topography and thick vegetation. Deep ruts and muddiness caused by knobby ORV tires degrades trails, making them difficult and unsafe for use by non-motorized visitors. Experience has shown that these combined effects frequently drive away and displace hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, hunters, and fishermen (Badaracco 1976; Hope 2004).
Published March 2008
Trails research can help support trail management decision-making and funding by providing objective, quantitative information describing trail users, their numbers and demographics, preferences, and economic expenditures.
This research investigated the influence of several use-related, environmental, and managerial factors on soil loss on recreational trails and roads at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, a unit of the U.S. National Park Service.
The sustainable management of ATV use is an expensive proposition requiring careful design, construction, and maintenance of ATV trails.