Off Road Vehicles arrrrgh

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  1. #1

    Off Road Vehicles arrrrgh

    While hiking along the Metacomet-Mondanock trail on Mt. Tom (Mass.) yesterday, we ran into two separate groups of ATV 'ers and dirtbikers. The ATV 'ers had ascended the mountain from the old ski resort and had stayed off the hiking trails. They had parked their quads and hiked a short way to a nice viewpoint and were friendly to us. The dirtbikers on the other had were directly on the lower half of the trail and we had to get off four times from them to go by. The fourth time I was quite tempted to take my trekking pole and jam it in his front tire spokes to get him to flip. I ended up just glaring at him and he gave me the finger. Talk about getting your blood boiling. Now many hikers hate ORV's but around here in Mass the hiking trails and ORV paths are more and more seeming to go hand in hand. It's a real shame, I guess it just means I'll have to go bushwacking more. Any one else have similar experiences?


  2. #2
    I've only seen snowmobiles on Cherry Mtn in Twin and ATM's on Coppermine Trail in Franconia. Strickly while there was plenty of snow on the ground.

    In spring, summer and fall, I loathe to see these machines digging up trails and causing more washout during rainfall. Here in the Whites many have ORV and contribute to the income (registration fees) to one's town. Let them dig up their own back yard. My feeling is they should only use the many miles of former RR beds.

    The trailhead owner of Mt Cabot on the Arthur White Road wanted to run ATV up over the mtn all the way to Gorham. The USFS said 'NO.' That is the main reason the Mt Cabot trail is officially closed.

    Two years ago a hiker and I going up the Tripyramids via Livermore Trail barely escaped being mowwed down by over a dozen bikers as they silently sped at 40 mph toward us.

  3. #3
    Hey Magic Just where are those ATM's on the Coppermine Trail. Just when you thought the banks could not be more intrusive.

    I never knew that was the reason the Mt. Cabot trail was closed. Nothing screws up a trail more than the ORV's and contribute to erosion more.

  4. #4
    Ha Ha! My poor spelling, of course I meant ATV's. More homes are being constructed near the first half mile of the Coppermine Trail and a new home was constructed this winter South in full view of the parking area complete with a fence for horses.

    Two weekends ago I saw an ATV on Coppermine trail that had huge snow treads mounted on each wheel, ala a tank. The local owner said, "You can't make a snowmachine an ATV, but you can make an ATV a snowmachine."

    First ever I've seen of these. I hope the last!

  5. #5
    I see your points and they're very good ones, but I'm also married to a 4x4 loving man. His big complaint is that there aren't any 4 wheel drive trails in CT at all. If you want to 4 wheel, you have to do it in your own yard or on somebody else's property who has given you permission. I know when we were out in Montana, however, there were quite a few off road "trails" (wide dirt roads) up the mountains that were separate from the hiking trails. Perhaps that's the middle road to making both groups happy? Personally I'm not fond of motorized vehicles when I'm out in the woods to get away from it all, but I know other people feel that's their way of "getting away from it all." I certainly would be upset to share the same trails with ORVs--they should have their own trails that were carefully constructed to have as minimal an impact as possible on the environment. Is there any governing body that controls who has access to what up there? Motorized vehicles aren't allowed on the hiking trails I've been on in this area so there must be somebody to appeal to who regulates these things...

    (BTW, my husband is also a hiker, so he's familiar with the other perspective...but he loves his 4x4, too.)
    "Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own." ~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

  6. #6
    Greg's Avatar
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    I used to have ATCs (3 wheelers) and dirt bikes as a kid. They are a blast, but as severine mentions, there are no places to ride them (legally) in CT. Hence, the reason I haven't had one since I was 17....that, and the severe concussion I got on my ATC after slamming into a tree.
    I ski double black diamonds.

  7. #7
    There are 100's of miles of railroad beds throughout NE that have abandoned RR tracks and (at least around here) have removed the tracks. I feel those hardened, mostly level stone beds should be used for hiking, biking and mostly ORV's.

    I just hate slamming into trees, could ruin your whole day. Ouch!

  8. #8
    Personally, I don't have a lot of sympathy for ATV owners who live in states where there is limited or non-existant riding, and then complain about it. I'm sure Severine's hubby doesn't do that, but you hear of lots of ATV-ers who think that they need to be catered to after the fact. If you live in Nebraska, you don't go out and buy a selection of surfboards and then complain about the lack of places to go surfing. I guess you gotta know up front what you're getting into, and that it might entail traveling to places where there are approved trails to ride on.
    "Never take no cut-offs, and hurry along as fast as you can." Virginia Reed, Donner party survivor

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Max
    Personally, I don't have a lot of sympathy for ATV owners who live in states where there is limited or non-existant riding, and then complain about it. I'm sure Severine's hubby doesn't do that, but you hear of lots of ATV-ers who think that they need to be catered to after the fact. If you live in Nebraska, you don't go out and buy a selection of surfboards and then complain about the lack of places to go surfing. I guess you gotta know up front what you're getting into, and that it might entail traveling to places where there are approved trails to ride on.
    Great point. My husband didn't buy his Jeep to go off-roading--he bought it because he likes Jeeps. It's his daily driver and he gets a chance to do some donuts in the parking lot at work every once in a while, but that's about it. After going to Montana and seeing the network of off-road trails that were available, the lack of such back home became more apparent--but it's not like he's illegally off-roading or anything. He's just wishful. We're also working on relocating and so, while it's not a factor in where we move, he will probably have some preference for an area where there are approved off-road trails. But it won't be the end of the world if there aren't any...
    I also agree with the comment above about the abandoned railroad lines. Seems like a good way to make both groups happy with less of an impact on the environment.
    "Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own." ~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

  10. #10
    Severine, I know, I feel bad for him, living in an area where it's tough to ride. When I was out in Colorado and Wyoming, there were plenty of places to go off roading, and they even make a tourist industry around renting out Jeeps and such for the purpose. At least he sounds pretty responsible, and I'm sure his hiking background has given him the insight to see both sides of the fence. Like Silent Cal says, it only takes a few rotten apples like the type he met to ruin it for all the ones who act responsibly!

    Max
    "Never take no cut-offs, and hurry along as fast as you can." Virginia Reed, Donner party survivor

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