WATVA Comments – WI DNR ATV and UTV Trail Guidelines Document

Photo by Pete Genteman. Mark Geffers at the Dyracuse Recreational Park slow speed trail area.

December 10, 2021

To: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Staff

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Re: Comments – ATV and UTV Trail Guidelines Document

The Wisconsin ATV/UTV Association (WATVA) appreciates the opportunity to submit our comment on the proposed ATV and UTV trail guideline draft.

To make our input easier to review, we have made some general comments regarding important issues.

  • WATVA applauds the Wisconsin DNR effort and active support of numerous modes of recreations as well as recognizing the importance of making motorized recreation available on Wisconsin's public lands.
  • We feel that it is important to accurately represent what it can and should take to create trails, it's not to be taken lightly. There will always be cynics who don't want any ATV or UTV use on public lands, but by using introspective guidelines, it is possible to provide opportunities to use public lands that upholds all the responsibilities that public land managers have, and our sport will be provided for in a way that minimizes impacts to resources and works with the land.
  • With the existing regulations and requirements for trails already in place, the realities of what it takes to create fun filled experiences can be daunting, but this document does accurately represent the work that goes into creating trails. WATVA appreciates the work that the DNR staff put into this document. Developing clear and consistent guidelines for motorized recreational trail systems is important to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for our trail users.
  • However, environmental reviews have become a lengthy process that needs to be shortened and simplified. These reviews protract trail projects to the point that it is frustrating to the volunteers and trail managers that have already spent numerous hours scoping and planning a corridor for travel.
  • WATVA understands the need for guidelines and that changes need to be made to guarantee sustainable ATV and UTV recreation on public properties in the state of Wisconsin, however we hope the DNR favors exploring innovative approaches to offer the most wide-ranging opportunities available to our rider's needs. It seems that we should be looking for simple solutions that will work, that can protect the resources and meet permit requirements while not overbearing the trail developers. We need common sense solutions that need to be tested and can be changed as new problems or solutions are discovered.
  • The guidelines should encourage shorter timelines to complete trail projects, especially simple projects, to better serve the trail user. We feel a goal of the guidelines should be to make the trail related process more efficient, time saving and economical, since they will provide a broad reference for agencies, trail advocates, and policy makers as they embark on various types of trail development projects.
  • From our point of view, the landscape our two registration programs operate in, ATV and UTV, has changed substantially over the period of time that this document has been developed. Some of the major changes include the growth and expansion of the UTV machine along with the changing demographic of the owner/riders. Owners and riders are very diversified as far as gender, age, and economic status. The other dramatic shift or change is the somewhat spectacular growth curve in the total number of ATV UTV route miles that have and are still being approved in cities, villages, townships, and counties across the state. Many of these ordinances have been brought forward and approved by local citizens, many are not necessarily affiliated with organized clubs. We know we have not captured all the approved routes, but our sources tell us we're at or above 42,000 miles of approved routes in Wisconsin.
  • So how does this change the operating landscape for the "Trail Guidance" document? In the past, where trail connections were once sought, often stymied with obstacles such as wetlands, rivers, lakes, and other obstructions, it has become increasingly simpler to petition a local municipality for route approval access that serves to avoid obstacles and red tape. That situation, combined with the many local owners and riders that do not want to trailer their machines to trails every weekend and or they live far from any trails, so they also seek local route access for pleasure riding on hard surface roads (paved and dirt) between their occasional trips to what we'd consider genuine trail systems.
  • One of our main concerns is that this document is heavily laden towards highly developed and possibly overbuilt gravel trails, and we feel more emphasis should be on the development of more Level 3 and 4 challenge type trails. With already having 42,000 miles or routes and 2,000 miles or more of Level 1 and 2 challenge type trails which are more like roads than trails, we need a better mix and diversification of types of trails.
  • WATVA completed a survey with its members and found that most of the results desired a diverse trail that encompasses multiple surface experiences, with scenic natural settings and access that allows the riders to link to their different choices of destination riding experiences. Our observation and suggestion are to use hardened trail surfaces only where necessary, not automatically on the entire trail. Also, to identify specific sections or segments that require more detailed analysis for spots requiring tread way stabilization in the form of added fill material. The intent of hardening is to determine which segments of the trails are capable of sustaining ATV and UTV travel either as is or with modification. This would be a cost-effective method for necessary modifications.
  • The point is, our concern is that the "trail standard" will most likely be similar to a road standard with the related costs and then have a landscape in the end that presents itself for more opportunities for speed and dust, etc.
  • In the last 3 to 5 years, we've heard the request for slower speeds, challenge trails. Examples are the Wood County Park (mostly mud riding), then the Tigerton facility that has designed and built rock and other obstacles that dramatically slow the speeds (and dust) while providing a more challenging adventure for those that seek that experience. With the new addition of a challenge trail at the Dyracuse Park, their rider counts are up significantly since adding that kind of experience.
  • We feel the most wanted and needed experience to be added at select locations where there's a chance the property would possibly allow small segments of this type of trail experience, is not being highlighted and or planned for with the same or equal focus as the other examples in the draft guidelines. Unless this type of experience is included in the guidance, we feel it would quite likely deter those seeking if or how to develop the slower speed, challenge riding experiences. As "Food for Thought" there should be a stronger reference for this type of slow challenge experience and development so land managers or trail planners are clear, that under the right conditions, that there may be a much different alternative to route type construction.
  • Slow speed challenge and technical trail sections should be considered within trail systems or as alternative to the main trail. These sections require more attention from the rider (well designed, low angle, short-radius curves are enjoyable and much more sustainable.)If the proper challenges are provided, the desire for speed becomes less pronounced. Slower speeds also produce less noise and dust. Natural, hilly areas make for the best trails, while long, straight trails can be found to be tiresome. Riders enjoy challenges with a variety of conditions – although not all the trails should be highly difficult, diversity is preferred. On page 9 there is a quote from "One User's Perspective", we feel that statement represents MANY users' perspective, thousands rather than one person.
  • Our intent with these comments is not to derail all the work, effort and tenacity that has been put forth on this guidance document, but the scenarios have changed fairly rapidly in the past few years and we want to make sure that his slower challenging trail type is accounted for accordingly and appropriately.
  • The Wisconsin ATV/UTV Association and its Chapter Clubs, its many businesses and travel partners that provide an invaluable economic stimulus to Wisconsin, thank you for this opportunity to present our viewpoint.


Please feel free to call our state headquarters office for any clarifications or questions you might have about our input or our comments.

Sincerely,

Randy Harden - President
Rob McConnell - Vice President

File Name: WI DNR ATV / UTV Trail Guidelines Draft Document
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Fish, Wildlife and Parks Public Input Opportunities | Wisconsin DNR

Check out the public comment page for the WI DNR. Click on the ATV and UTV Trail Guidelines document or submit your own input. 
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ATV/UTV Riders: Think Smart Before You Start During Gun Deer Season

Hunters Reminded To Ride Safely When Using ATVs/UTVs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 19, 2021
Contact: DNR Office of Communications
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


The DNR reminds hunters to ride safely when using ATVs and UTVs during their hunt this year. / Photo Credit: iStock/bernardbodo

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds hunters to ride safely when using all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility-terrain vehicles (UTVs) during their hunt this year.

Since January 2021, 41 people have died in ATV and UTV-related crashes. Most of the incidents involved people not wearing a helmet or seat belt. There were 38 fatal crashes in 2020.

Hunters using ATVs or UTVs to retrieve harvests or travel off-road to hunting locations should take life-saving precautions such as wearing a helmet and buckling up. Most hunting incidents involving ATVs or UTVs often occur on private lands and are linked by common factors.

"ATVs and UTVs are powerful and potentially dangerous vehicles. Oftentimes, accidents happen by simply going too fast for conditions, not judging the curve correctly or not knowing the terrain," said Lt. Martin Stone, DNR Conservation Warden and Off-Highway Vehicle Administrator. "Safety is part of the fun. Please ride responsibly."

ATV riders at least 12 years old and born after Jan. 1, 1988 must complete a course before operating an ATV on public trails and areas in Wisconsin. UTV operators must be at least age 16.

Complete an ATV safety course either in classroom or online by signing up here.

ATV/UTV Tips For A Safe Ride:

  • Don't drink and ride.
  • Slow down.
  • Some terrain in Wisconsin is too steep for ATV/UTVs. Traverse hills with caution.
  • Display registration ID number on a rear plate for all ATVs and UTVs registered for public use.
  • Always wear a Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved helmet. Hunters are more likely to come across low hanging branches or uneven terrain. Serious injuries and death can occur even at low speeds.
  • Just as with other vehicles, long guns and bows/crossbows must be fully unloaded before transporting them in or on an ATV or UTV.
  • Do not operate in or around waterways or wetlands. ATVs and UTVs are only allowed to cross waterways at bridges, roads or legal fords. Machine use in these areas is illegal and causes serious habitat damage that is very costly to repair.


Hunters using ATV and UTVs can also help protect natural areas by removing mud, dirt and any vegetation from vehicles prior to traveling as they can easily transport invasive plant species or seeds that are harmful to local habitats.

For more information on ATV/UTV laws visit the DNR's ATV/UTV Riding In Wisconsin webpage. 

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Burnett County Update - Fall Riding Season

OUR FALL RIDING SEASON BEGINS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16!

(Please read all information below)

Beginning Thursday, September 16, State-funded trails will be CLOSED. HOWEVER, from September 16 through November 30 the Burnett County Forest woods trails and forest roads are open for ATV/UTV use. What this means is that you can ride your registered ATV/UTV on any woods trail, snowmobile trail, and ATV trail that is located on County Forest Lands and is not bermed, gated, or signed as closed; and is at least eight feet wide. (A good rule of thumb is that if you can drive a truck down the trail, then you can take your ATV/UTV down it.) No off-trail use is allowed and operation on private lands is illegal unless you have permission from the private landowner.

It is very important to note that all of these trails are currently multi-use trails. This means that ANY street legal, licensed vehicle can use these trails during this time, (cars or trucks for example). It's also important to note that these trails are no longer being maintained during this time of year. For these reasons, the State-Funded Summer Use ATV Trail System is officially closed, even though you can still ride the majority of these same trails because they are located on County Forest Lands and township roads that currently allow for the use of ATV/UTVs during this time of year.

Remember, it is illegal to ride your ATV/UTV on the Gandy Dancer Trail in Burnett County south of Highway 77 at this time of year.

USE CAUTION:

Use caution and look for signage regarding timber sale activity. Trucks may be crossing trails.

All ATVs and UTVs must display either a Wisconsin registration or an ATV trail pass to ride on our trails. Only machines meeting the state definition of an ATV/UTV are allowed on these trails. Please follow this link for the state definitions and registration/pass information.

Some township ordinances allow for ATV/UTV use of the town roads and others do NOT allow it. It is the rider's responsibility to contact the township in which you plan to ride in and get the current rules pertaining to ATVs/UTVs and the town roads. Please follow this link for contact information for the individual townships for their rules and regulations.

NO OFF TRAIL USE IS ALLOWED - Please stay on the trails. Much of our trail system is on private land, and we appreciate the easements granted by our generous land owners. It only takes one person to have the entire trail system shut down.

Caution: Trail maintenance vehicles may be on the trails at any time.

It is your responsibility to know where you are and whose property you are on. Please be careful, be respectful to other trail users, and ride safely.

To contact Burnett County Forest & Parks, please visit their website at www.burnettcounty.com/trails.

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Osseo Area Dusty Riders Receives Yamaha Outdoor Access Grant

Osseo Area Dusty Riders

Brad Van Schoyck, President
608-963-6975
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Osseo, WI---August 2, 2021—The Osseo Area Dusty Riders is pleased to announce it has received a Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative grant of $15,000 for resurfacing a one mile portion of the Buffalo River ATV/UTV Trail. The grant was awarded as part of Yamaha's Outdoor Access Initiative promoting safe responsible riding and open sustainable riding areas.

The Osseo Area Dusty Riders identified a three mile section of the Buffalo River Trail located in Garfield Township near Fairchild, WI, that needed resurfacing due to erosion and extremely rough riding due to the undulating surface. Improvements to the trail include grading and compacting, addition of 4 inches of ¾ inch rock and 4 inches of road gravel applied through a paver. According to President Brad Van Schoyck, the cost of the entire project will be $150,000.00 and will need to be completed in phases. The first phase will be completed this year.

President Van Schoyck stated that the project has been a community effort. " In addition to the funds provided by the Yamaha Grant, The Osseo Area Dusty Riders have received a second grant from Polaris, have raised funds through club activities, and have received donations from local business and private club members. We know that we have a lot of work ahead, but we have raised almost $50,000.00 to complete Phase I. We have been working with local townships, Trempealeau County and the State of Wisconsin to assure that the project meets the recognized standards for trail riding."

Local businesses located along the Buffalo River Trail have been impacted by rough trail conditions that have deterred many riders from using the trail. The trail is an important conduit in the ATV/UTV Trail System, as it connects the eastern counties of Buffalo, Trempealeau, and Eau Claire Counties, with the western counties of Jackson and Clark. In addition to the economic impact the trail has on the area, it also offers opportunities for trail riders to access new destinations.

The mission of the Osseo Area Dusty Riders is to provide a positive experience for all ATV/UTV riders who utilize the trails that their organization has adopted. The organization will maintain the trail system, develop and share maps, promote safety and education programs, and provide a conduit of communication between fellow ATV/UTV clubs, government entities, and the general public. Furthermore, the Osseo Area Dusty Riders recognizes areas of need in their community and will support these needs with charitable donations.
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WIDNR: Ride Responsibly This Holiday Weekend

17 Fatal ATV/UTV Crashes So Far In 2021 
It is the responsibility of all ATV and UTV operators to make the sport a safe one. Brush up on safety tips before heading out for the holiday weekend. / Photo Credit: iStock/wundervisuals

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking ATV and UTV operators to ride safely this Fourth of July weekend.

When out with family and friends for off-road rides and adventures, wearing a helmet and seat belt, monitoring speed and brushing up on safety best practices could save your life.

So far this year, 17 people have died in ATV/UTV crashes. Of the 5 fatal UTV crash victims, none were wearing helmets and 4 of 5 did not wear seat belts. Of the 12 fatal ATV crash victims, 10 were not wearing helmets.

"The Fourth of July holiday weekend is often a busy time on our trails and road routes," said Lt. Martin R. Stone, DNR Off-Highway Vehicle Administrator. "This year, 12 of the 17 fatal crashes so far occurred on public roads or routes. We want everyone to stay safe out there; familiarizing yourself with ATV-UTV laws and safe operation practices is a must before you head out."

SAFETY TIPS & SAFETY COURSE

When used safely, ATVs and UTVs provide fun, family recreation and are a valuable tool for working or exploring the outdoors. However, these vehicles are powerful and can be dangerous and even fatal. It is the responsibility of all ATV and UTV operators to make the sport a safe one.

Follow these tips for a safe ride: 

  • Never consume alcohol or drugs before or during your ride.
  • Wear a seat belt and a Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved helmet.
  • In addition to a seat belt and helmet, wear protective clothing such as eye protection, gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
  • Keep your speed in check for the terrain, visibility conditions and your experience.
  • Remember that some terrain in Wisconsin is too steep for ATV/UTVs. Please be careful while traversing hills or uneven terrain.
  • Know before you go. Review all ATV/UTV laws here.

One of the best things ATV and UTV operators can do to operate safely is to take an online safety course. A list of approved safety education classes is available on the DNR Safety Education webpage.

ATV and UTV operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, who are at least 12 years old for an ATV (and at least 16 years old for UTV) must complete an ATV safety certification course to operate in Wisconsin (exception: on private property owned by operator's immediate family).

Wisconsin law requires every operator involved in a crash incident to report the incident without delay to law enforcement officials. In addition, within 10 days of the incident, the operator must submit a written report to the DNR.

For more information on ATV and UTV recreation in Wisconsin, visit the DNR's website.

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Burnett County: Summer ATV / UTV Trails Are Currently Open

During the summer season, (which runs through September 15), you may operate your ATV/UTV on State-funded Summer-Use Trails ONLY. Summer-Use Trails are designated with a WHITE blazer.

It is illegal to ride ATVs & UTVs on the Gandy Dancer Trail south of Hwy 77 in Burnett County during this time of year.

All ATVs and UTVs must display either a Wisconsin registration or an ATV trail pass to ride on our trails. Only machines meeting the state definition of an ATV/UTV are allowed on these trails. Please visit the Wisconsin DNR website for more information.

Trails will close in the event of a Red Flag Alert due to fire danger. Always check back for updated information before riding.

Use caution and look for signage regarding timber sale activity. Trucks may be crossing or using trails.

Some township ordinances allow for ATV/UTV use of the town roads and others do NOT allow it. It is the rider's responsibility to contact the township in which you plan to ride in and get the current rules pertaining to ATVs/UTVs and the town roads. Please contact the individual townships for their rules and regulations.

NO OFF TRAIL USE IS ALLOWED. Please stay on designated trails.

Caution: Trail maintenance vehicles may be on the trails at any time.

It is your responsibility to know where you are and whose property you are on. Please be careful, be respectful to other trail users, and ride safely.

Contact Information

If you need any maps, or if you need any other information, please contact Burnett County Tourism at 1-800-788-3164 or feel free to email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To contact Burnett County Forest & Parks, please visit their website at www.burnettcounty.com/trails.

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Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Update

5-18-2021 – Brushing has started on the Flambeau Trail on trails 118H-121, 118B-107, and 118A-111. Trail users should ride with caution when on these trails as they may encounter heavy machinery at any time. Work is anticipated to finish prior to the weekend. 

The trails are still dusty, but there is some rain in the forecast so conditions should be improving. 

When you are out and about you may notice that the roads and trails are looking pretty clean, due in part to some local OHVers with the Fifield Dirt Devils and the Northwoods Range Rovers who did some litter clean up last month for Earth Day. A big thank you goes out to these clubs and their members for lending a hand in keeping our public lands in great shape. 

All of the reservable sites at Sailor Lake Campground have been reserved for Memorial Day weekend, but there are some first come first serve sites. There are additional camping opportunities for OHVs as well at Solberg Lake Campground near Phillips and Smith Lake Campground near Park Falls.

Brady Howe
Recreation

Forest Service

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Medford-Park Falls Ranger District


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May 12 Flambeau Trail Update

5/12/2021 – Trails are dry and dusty, but there is plenty of sunshine to go around! Contract trail brushing is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 17 on trails 118H-121 between Riley Lake Road and trail 118C-101. Brushing will also be taking place on trails 118B-107 between Round Lake and trail 118A-111, and on trail 118A-111 between Hwy 182 and trail 118C-101. Trail users are asked to ride with caution, especially when encountering heavy equipment and machinery on the trail. Due to the unseasonably warm and dry conditions forest visitors are also asked to be fire wise and be mindful of not parking a vehicle on dry grass or leaves, having a functioning spark arrester on your OHV or motorcycle, properly disposing of cigarette butts, and when having campfires never leaving them unattended and making sure they are cold to the touch before leaving.

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Polaris donates more than $80,000 to off-road organizations with T.R.A.I.L.S. grants

Polaris has announced the donation of more than $80,000 to off-road and ATV organizations across the U.S. as a part of its ongoing T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant Program.

The nine nonprofit organizations that were awarded a spring 2021 T.R.A.I.L.S. grant received awards ranging from $6,000 to $10,000 each to support the development, improvement and expansion of trails, as well as, help to educate riders on safe and responsible riding practices.

"The receiving organizations and clubs are made up of passionate volunteers and riders who love our sport – they are the heart of the off-roading community with a desire to help create a safe and enjoyable experience for all those looking to get out and ride," said Steve Menneto, president of off-road at Polaris. "Polaris is excited to help support their efforts and show our appreciation for their passion and dedication through the T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant Program."

The Spring 2021 T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant recipients are:
  • American Sand Association (Tempe, Arizona)
  • Osseo Area Dusty Riders Inc. (Osseo, Wisconsin)
  • Heart of Oregon Corps., Inc. (Bend, Oregon)
  • Dexter Rail Riders (Dexter, Maine)
  • Garland Trail Hawks ATV Club (Garland, Maine)
  • Millsfield ATV Club (Berlin, New Hampshire)
  • Minnesota Kitty Cat Racers Association (Lindstrom, Minnesota)
  • Christ Miami Corp. (Miami, Florida)
  • Atlas Foundation (Dearborn Heights, Michigan)

"We're thrilled beyond words at the amazing generosity of Polaris. The funding that we have received has helped put Garland Trail Hawks on ATV riders' radar for a Central Maine riding destination," said Joe Valentim, president of the Garland Trail Hawks ATV Club. "Now that spring is here everyone is getting very excited to get out there. And with this infusion of funding we're excited to start work on this year's improvements."

Since its inception in 2006, Polaris' T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant Program has provided funding to national, state and local organizations in the U.S. to help support the future of ATV, snowmobiling and off-road riding.

The T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant Program focuses on two main objectives: promoting safe and responsible riding and supporting environmental preservations and trail access. Organizations may use funds from the grant to increase and maintain land access through trail development, maintenance projects, safety and education initiatives and other projects.

To date, the program has supported 324 ATV, off-road and snowmobiling organizations with more than $2.7 million in grants.

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Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest set to reopen trails this weekend

Rhinelander, Wis., April 22, 2021—Trails on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest are reopening on Friday to all-terrain vehicles, utility-terrain vehicles, bicycles and horses. The forest had closed trails to such uses last month to protect the saturated ground from rutting and erosion.

"Due to relatively dry spring weather, we've been able open the trails a bit earlier than usual," said Chad Jacobson, recreation program manager. "We're hopeful to see new and returning users come out this weekend and all season long."

There are nearly 300 miles of motorized trails on the national forest. During the early riding season, trails may have debris, patches of soft ground, and other hazards. The forest asks that users ride responsibly for their own safety and to protect the trails.

ATV/UTV routes and other trails designated by towns under state law may have different reopening dates across the Northwoods. Riders and other users should check local regulations for trails they plan to use.

Developed recreation sites and hunter walking trails provide opportunities to explore the forest on foot, mountain bike and horse. Trail maps are available on the forest's website at https://go.usa.gov/xH8rF.

At most developed trailheads, beaches, picnic areas and boat landings on the national forest, users must pay a $5 per vehicle daily fee. The forest provides envelopes for making on-site payments, or visitors may purchase an annual vehicle pass for $30 through district offices and local pass sale vendors. Passes currently available for sale are good through March 31, 2022.

"It's the best time of year to get an annual forest pass," said Jacobson. "You get access to the recreation sites opening for spring use, plus the pass will still be good for skiing and snowshoeing next winter."

Veterans, Gold Star Family members, and active military personnel and their dependents are eligible for free access to day-use recreation sites on national forests and grasslands. More information about recreation fees and passes is available online at https://go.usa.gov/x7SvJ.

The Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, manages 193 million acres of public lands and more than 3,000 world-class outdoor recreation areas, facilities and programs. Visitors may enjoy year-round, fee-free access to 98 percent of national forests and grasslands as well as two-thirds of developed recreation sites.

More information about the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is available on the forest's website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/CNNF or through social media on Facebook and Twitter.

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Trempealeau County Outdoors: ATV/UTV Safety 4/1/21

On this episode of Trempealeau County Outdoors, Host Drew Douglas talks about ATV/UTV with Conservation Warden Andrew Johnson. Drew also talks with Conservation Warden Meghan Johnson and R.N. Bri Rotering about Trempealeau County crash statistics. We also gain insight into becoming a conservation warden with the Wisconsin DNR.

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December 15th Trail Update: Eisenbahn in Washington County Enters Winter Season

Effective December 15th the Eisenbahn State Trail is open in Washington County for ATV/UTV operation. Changes to trail opening/closing will be posted as temp. change. Please remember to always check the Fond du Lac County hotline for trail opening/closings prior to entering Fond du Lac county. Trail will open when the daily high for the day is 28 degrees or less until March 15th, assuming the ground is already frozen. Enjoy, stay safe, legal, and remember the trail is a shared use trail with snowmobiles and non-motorized activities.

Make sure to check out the Kettle Moraine ATV Association's page (http://www.kmatva.com/) as they post Eisenbahn trail status.

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December 14th 2020 Trail Updates for Jackson & Burnett Counties

Jackson County Is Set to Open for Winter Riding on December 15th 

Photo by Jackson County Parks & Trails

Originally posted on: https://www.facebook.com/jacksonparkstrails

The Jackson County ATV Trails will open TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15!

Snowmobile trails remain closed until we get snow. 

A reminder that only ATVs are allowed in Jackson County during the winter riding season. Get out and enjoy the trails!

More information can be found here: https://www.co.jackson.wi.us/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={072A7209-631D-4450-A14C-CA69A56BD820}


Burnett County Frozen Ground System Update

WINTER SEASON NOTIFICATION

We do not have enough snow cover to open our snow trails, and some swamps are not yet frozen. However, the MAJORITY of the Frozen Ground ATV Trail System is open, with the exception of trail 130 and the portion of trail 151 running from trail 45 to 118 due to swamplands.

Frozen Ground Trails are marked with GREEN blazers and are shown on the back of the snowmobile map. You may also find the map under "Trail Rules, Maps and Licensing Information" on our website. Only registered machines meeting the state definition of an ATV or UTV are allowed on this trail system.

All ATVs and UTVs must display either a Wisconsin registration or an ATV trail pass to ride on our trails. Only machines meeting the state definition of an ATV/UTV are allowed on these trails. Please follow this link for the state definitions and registration/pass information.

Some township ordinances allow for ATV/UTV use of the town roads and others do NOT allow it. It is the rider's responsibility to contact the township in which you plan to ride in and get the current rules pertaining to ATVs/UTVs and the town roads. Please follow this link for contact information for the individual townships for their rules and regulations.

NO OFF TRAIL USE IS ALLOWED - Please stay on the trails. Much of our trail system is on private land, and we appreciate the easements granted by our generous land owners. It only takes one person to have the entire trail system shut down.

Caution: Trail maintenance vehicles may be on the trails at any time. Also please watch for signage warning of logging activity. Trucks may be crossing trails.

It is your responsibility to know where you are and whose property you are on. Please be careful, be respectful to other trail users, and ride safely.

For specific information on our trails, follow these links:
ATV/UTV Trails
Maps, Rules, and Pass & Licensing Information

TRAIL CLOSURES:

Trail 130
Trail 151 from trail 45 to 118

Contact Information:

If you need any maps other than what we have here on our website, or if you need any other information, please contact Burnett County Tourism at 1-800-788-3164 or feel free to email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Maps are also available at many local businesses.

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Lancaster Area Chamber of Commerce Warns About Scam (Grant County - Southern Wisconsin)

Thursday, December 10, 2020

The Lancaster Area Chamber of Commerce is warning businesses in the Grant County area about a scam.

A company called Hometown Productions out of Texas recently has been approaching local businesses asking them to purchase ads in a "new ATV/UTV map for Grant County". The maps have contact information for the Lancaster Chamber on them. Hometown Productions has NO affiliation with the Chamber.

Please help the Chamber spread the word to the rest of the County's business owners that if you receive anything from Hometown Productions or a phone call from them, that it is a scam and they are in no way affiliated with the Lancaster Area Chamber of Commerce. We support our Grant County Clubs who do a great job in providing us with a local ATV/UTV map.

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Burnett County: Winter Trails remain closed

Image by Craig Lehman

WINTER SEASON NOTIFICATION

As the Natural Resources Committee has chosen to do for many years now, keeping safety in mind, Burnett County will NOT open any Winter ATV or snowmobile recreational trails for our December 1 through March 31 riding season until after all gun deer hunting seasons. There is a muzzleloader season and also an antlerless deer season through December 13. The earliest we might be able to open ANY of these winter ATV or snowmobile trails will be on December 14. (This includes all Frozen Ground Trails.)

During this time, our Fall Riding Regulations are still in effect. If you choose to ride on Burnett County Forest Lands, please consider wearing blaze orange as you are riding at your own risk - see regulations below.

OUR FALL RIDING SEASON SEPTEMBER 16-NOV. 30
(Please read all information below)

Beginning Wednesday, September 16, State-funded trails will be CLOSED. HOWEVER, from September 16 through November 30 the Burnett County Forest woods trails and forest roads are open for ATV/UTV use. What this means is that you can ride your registered ATV/UTV on any woods trail, snowmobile trail, and ATV trail that is located on County Forest Lands and is not bermed, gated, or signed as closed; and is at least eight feet wide. (A good rule of thumb is that if you can drive a truck down the trail, then you can take your ATV/UTV down it.) No off-trail use is allowed and operation on private lands is illegal unless you have permission from the private landowner.

It is very important to note that all of these trails are currently multi-use trails. This means that ANY street legal, licensed vehicle can use these trails during this time, (cars or trucks for example). It's also important to note that these trails are no longer being maintained during this time of year. For these reasons, the State-Funded Summer Use ATV Trail System is officially closed, even though you can still ride the majority of these same trails because they are located on County Forest Lands and township roads that currently allow for the use of ATV/UTVs during this time of year.

Remember, it is illegal to ride your ATV/UTV on the Gandy Dancer Trail in Burnett County south of Highway 77 at this time of year.

USE CAUTION:

Use caution and look for signage regarding timber sale activity. Trucks may be crossing trails.

All ATVs and UTVs must display either a Wisconsin registration or an ATV trail pass to ride on our trails. Only machines meeting the state definition of an ATV/UTV are allowed on these trails. Please go to the WI DNR website for definitions and registration/pass information.

Some township ordinances allow for ATV/UTV use of the town roads and others do NOT allow it. It is the rider's responsibility to contact the township in which you plan to ride in and get the current rules pertaining to ATVs/UTVs and the town roads.

NO OFF TRAIL USE IS ALLOWED - Please stay on the trails. Much of our trail system is on private land, and we appreciate the easements granted by our generous land owners. It only takes one person to have the entire trail system shut down.

Caution: Trail maintenance vehicles may be on the trails at any time.

It is your responsibility to know where you are and whose property you are on. Please be careful, be respectful to other trail users, and ride safely.

Contact Information

If you need any maps, or if you need any other information, please contact Burnett County Tourism at 1-800-788-3164 or feel free to email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To contact Burnett County Forest & Parks, please visit their website at www.burnettcounty.com/trails.

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RESTORATION PROJECT COMPLETED AT RIVERVIEW ATV PARK

Posted by Warren Bluhm | Nov 18, 2020 | Kewaunee County, News

https://kewauneecomet.com/restoration-project-completed-at-riverview-atv-park/

A worker from Heim’s Hillcrest Dairy seeds the new 9-acre native pollinator buffer at Riverview ATV Park. Contributed photo

The views at Riverview ATV Park are going to be a bit more scenic for visitors next season when the park reopens for riding in spring 2021.

The Kewaunee County Land & Water Conservation Department as well as the Kewaunee County Promotions & Recreation Department have just wrapped up work on a restoration project at the park, which began in fall 2018, to address water quality, erosion, and habitat improvement. This initiative was made possible with the help of federal, state and community partners who worked to construct a pollinator buffer and wetland basins.

The final step in the restoration project was to seed the park's new nine-acre native pollinator buffer, and that was just completed with the help of Heim's Hillcrest Dairy, which donated its time and machinery. The pollinator buffer will benefit wildlife and pollinator species as well as prevent erosion and surface runoff.

Also, three wetland basins were created as part of the project along the western edge of the park's wooded ravine. These basins aim to boost environmental conservation efforts, including improving water quality, capturing and slowing water flow – serving an overall land area of more than 240 acres.

In addition, through a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources grant, rock was placed along the ravine corridor to stabilize the banks.

A special thank you is also being extended to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Partners for a grant that provided the construction of the wetland basins and native seed as well as Bay Lake ATV Club, a not-for-profit friends group that volunteers to help with park improvements and maintenance.

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Be Smart Before You Start During Gun-Deer Season

DNR Reminds Hunters To Ride Safely When Using ATVs/UTVs 
The DNR reminds hunters to ride safely when using ATVs and UTVs during their hunt this year. / Photo Credit: iStock/Kyryl Gorlov

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds hunters to ride safely when using all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility-terrain vehicles (UTVs) during their hunt this year.

Since January, 33 people have died in ATV and UTV-related crashes in 2020. Most of the incidents involved people not wearing a helmet or seat belt. There were 22 fatal crashes in 2019.

Hunters often use ATVs or UTVs to retrieve harvests or travel off-road to their hunting location. Hunters should remember to wear helmets and buckle up. Most hunting incidents involving ATVs or UTVs often occur on private lands and are linked by common factors.

"ATVs and UTVs are powerful and potentially dangerous vehicles. Oftentimes, accidents happen by simply going too fast for conditions, not judging the curve correctly or not knowing the terrain," said DNR Conservation Warden Lt. Jon King. "Safety is part of the fun. Please ride responsibly so everyone can get back to their families safely."

Follow these tips for a safe ride:

  • Don't drink and ride.
  • Slow down.
  • Some terrain in Wisconsin is too steep for ATV/UTVs. Please be careful while traversing hills.
  • Complete an ATV safety course. ATV riders at least 12 years old and born after Jan. 1, 1988 must complete a course before operating an ATV. UTV operators must be at least age 16. This course may be completed either in a classroom or online.
  • Display registration ID number on a rear plate for all ATVs and UTVs registered for public use.
  • Always wear a Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved helmet. Hunters are more likely to come across low hanging branches or uneven terrain. Serious injuries and death can occur even at the slowest of speeds.
  • Just as with other vehicles, long guns and bows/crossbows must be fully unloaded before transporting them in or on an ATV or UTV.
  • Remove mud, dirt and any vegetation from your machine before using it in other areas. Machines can easily transport invasive plant species or seeds that are harmful to local habitats.
  • Do not operate in or around waterways or wetlands. ATVs and UTVs are only allowed to cross waterways at bridges, roads or legal fords. Machine use in these areas is illegal and causes serious habitat damage that is very costly to repair.
  • Know before you go. Review all ATV/UTV laws here.

Contact: Lt. Martin R. Stone, DNR Off-Highway Vehicle Administrator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 608-778-2035
Lt. Jon King, DNR Hunter Education Administrator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 608-575-2294

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Jackson County Parks & Trails - ALL TRAILS ARE NOW OPEN!!

ALL TRAILS ARE NOW OPEN!!Trails to Millston have been fixed and are open. Some areas may still be rough, use caution! 

The Bell Mound and The Oak Ridge Trails have both been groomed. Trails to from Black River Falls to Hatfield have also been groomed. Trails going to Pray were not groomed due to equipment breakdown.

All of our Parks are FULL for the weekend, we do not have any availability other than our walk-up sites at Wazee Lake, Merlin Lambert and Crawford Hills.

We wish everyone a wonderful Labor Day weekend. We thank you for a very busy summer in our Parks. As summer winds down and fall moves in we are still open to camp first come, first serve. We offer an $80.00/week rate and all sites are $20.00/night.

Remember to continue to practice social distancing, wash your hands often and pick up and liter on the trail system. 

Most importantly, be KIND!

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Jackson County Parks & Trails - 521 Photos - 6 Reviews - Sports & Recreation - W9790 Airport Rd, Black River Falls, WI 54615

Jackson County Parks & Trails - W9790 Airport Rd, Black River Falls, WI 54615 - Rated 4.3 based on 6 Reviews "Great trails, information, and fun to be...
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WI DNR - ATV/UTV Operators: Ride Responsibly Labor Day Weekend

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 3, 2020
Contact: Lt. Martin R. Stone, DNR Off-Highway Vehicle Administrator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 608-778-2035


Labor Day weekend is expected to be a busy time on ATV/UTV trails and road routes as many celebrate this final weekend of summer. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

MADISON, Wis. – The DNR is encouraging ATV and UTV operators to brush up on safe practices ahead of the Labor Day holiday. So far in 2020 there have been 23 fatal ATV and UTV incidents, compared to 14 in 2019.

The state's off-highway vehicle administrator says operators of all-terrain vehicles (ATV) and utility-terrain vehicles (UTV) should know the state laws and proven safety practices before enjoying any of Wisconsin's designated trails and routes this weekend.

"Labor Day weekend is expected to be a busy time on our trails and road routes as many celebrate this final weekend of summer," said Lt. Martin R. Stone, Off-Highway Vehicle Administrator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' Bureau of Law Enforcement. "We want everyone to enjoy themselves and to return home with fun stories of their outings. To do that, knowing the ATV-UTV laws and safe operation practices is a must."

SAFETY TIPS & SAFETY COURSE

Stone said when used safely and wisely, ATVs and UTVs can provide a source of fun and family recreation as well as a useful tool for work and exploring the outdoors. When used unwisely by untrained, inexperienced operators, they can be dangerous. It is the responsibility of all ATV & UTV operators to make the sport a safe one. Please remember these safety tips:

  • Never consume alcohol or drugs before or during your ride.
  • Wear your seat belt and your helmet! It could save your life.
  • While you're at it, wear protective clothing such as eye protection, gloves, long pants and a long-sleeve shirt.
  • Keep your speed in check for the terrain, visibility conditions and your experience.

"One of the best things you can do is take a safety course," Stone said.

The online courses can be found here. ATV and UTV operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 who are at least 12 years old for an ATV (and at least 16 years old for UTV) must complete an ATV safety certification course to operate in Wisconsin (exception: on private property owned by operator's immediate family).

NEW LAWS REFRESHER

Stone says the new state laws, which took effect March 4, affect passenger requirements, headlamps, operational requirements, vehicle legal definitions and more. Here are the highlights:

  • ATV operators cannot have a passenger riding in or on any part of an ATV that is not designed or intended to be used by passengers. Previously, this law only applied to roadways. After market seating does not comply with the law.
  • For ATVs, low-pressure tires are no longer required; instead, the only requirement is three or more tires. ATVs are required to be commercially designed and manufactured and their width cannot exceed 50 inches as measured laterally between the outermost wheel rims on each side of the vehicle.
  • For UTVs, low-pressure tires are also no longer required; instead, they must have four or more tires. UTVs must be originally manufactured with, and must have at all times, a width of not more than 65 inches as measured laterally between the outermost wheel rims on each side of the vehicle.
  • ATVs and UTVs must now have a lighted headlamp and tail lamp during operation – regardless of time of day and location.
  • No person (except emergency services personnel) may operate an ATV or UTV that is equipped with any of the following:
    • A lamp that emits a color other than white or amber and that is visible from directly in front of the vehicle.
    • A lamp that emits any color of light other than red, yellow, amber or white and that is visible from directly behind the ATV or UTV.
    • A flashing, oscillating or rotating lamp that emits any color other than yellow or amber.
  • Any person operating an ATV or UTV must dim his or her high-beam headlamps and any auxiliary lamps when within 500 feet of an approaching ATV/UTV or vehicle, and within 500 feet to the rear of another ATV/UTV or vehicle.
  • ATVs and UTVs cannot be operated with anything else other than tires (exception: private property or frozen waters).

You can find more information on ATV and UTV regulations here

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9/2/20 Flambeau Trail Update

9-2-2020 – USFS Crews will be working this week on trail 118C-101 in the Wintergreen area. The rains this past week have resulted in some slightly larger than normal puddles, and combined with the cooler temperatures the trails are in overall GREAT shape with minimal dust! Sailor Lake Campground is located on the Flambeau Trail and has some first come first serve campsites available for the upcoming holiday weekend. Fall colors are right around the corner, with a few trees already starting to turn.

Brady Howe
Recreation

Forest Service

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Medford-Park Falls Ranger District

p: 715-762-5104

1170 4th Ave South
Park Falls, WI 54552
www.fs.fed.us

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