ATV Riders. Please see DCNR Survey information request below.
The trail is privately owned and maintained, but open to the public for use in accordance with trail rules established by the trail’s owner, Allegheny Valley Land Trust, and the Redbank Valley Trails Association. The trail was conveyed to the owner by the Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad and Shannon Transport on the condition that the trail be railbanked and maintained only for non-motorized use. Many complaints were received from nearby property owners from the noise, dust and erosion created by ATV trespassers on railroad and private property which led in part to the restrictions.
ATV use is not conducive to the safety of our ever-growing number of trail users because of the narrowness of the corridor, its passing through natural areas where quiet is so enjoyed by many users and in populated developed areas where pedestrian traffic is higher. ATV use is not compatible with the many young children on bicycles, runners and pedestrians who use the trail with its short sight distances and curves in the trail. Insurance costs and liability considerations also prohibit ATV and unauthorized motorized use.
Volunteers have spent many thousands of hours and worked hard to improve the nearly level trail with a smooth crushed limestone surface designed for bike, cross country skiing and pedestrian use. ATV tires rough up the surface which volunteers worked so hard to smooth and on which many private, donated and public dollars were expended to create that surface. Where ATVs go off the trail, surface drainage and erosion issues are created. Many cases of vandalism and destruction of gates, bollards and other improvements have been documented on camera by some ATV and other motorized users who do not respect private property rights at a great cost to RVTA. RVTA intends to continue to enforce the rules and prosecute vandalism and violators for the safety of its users.
DCNR provides funding for ATV trails just as it does for rails to trails. Railroad corridors that are to be inactivated can be found on a dedicated website. ATV users may wish to organize as others have done to create ATV and snowmobile trails such as those in Cook Forest, West Virginia, and in the Allegheny National Forest which has over 200 miles of ATV trails open to the public. DCNR representatives can provide guidance.
RVTA asks that ATV users respect the work of the volunteers, private property rights, established rules and the enjoyment of those who are using the trail as it was designed and intended.
DCNR survey seeking feedback from ATV enthusiasts across Pa.
In a bid to better gauge ATV use across Pennsylvania and plan for future riding opportunities in the state, DCNR is seeking participation of riders and owners in an online survey.
“DCNR is working on a study to analyze existing ATV trails and parks in Pennsylvania, as well as explore possibilities for establishing additional riding areas,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said this week. “The survey is designed to help create a statewide inventory of ATV riding opportunities on public and private lands. Also, we are researching opportunities to partner with local governments, nonprofits, and for-profit organizations to create and develop new ATV parks, trails, and facilities to meet the needs of ATV owners.”
DCNR officials first announced this forthcoming survey in early June when they joined representatives of the Department of Environmental Protection in announcing the reopening of the Whiskey Springs ATV Trail. The popular public ATV trail, threading through Sproul State Forest near Westport, Clinton County, is heavily used by ATV riders.
DCNR records as of Aug. 1 show more than 168,680 registered ATV owners ride on private land and approved state forest trails.
“We want to explore avenues of meeting these registered owners’ need,” Dunn said. “To do that effectively, we need to better understand the wants and needs of the ATV user. We also ask riders to spread the word to fellow ATV enthusiasts—we want as much survey input as possible.”
The survey will remain active through Sept. 15.
The study is being completed by Moshier Studio and Pashek Associates. Questions may be directed to John Buerkle at [email protected].
Erin Wiley Moyers | Regional Advisor
PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Bureau of Recreation and Conservation
Northwest Regional Office
158 South Second Avenue
Clarion, PA 16214-2404
Phone: 814-226-2329|Fax: 814-226-1704