Join Today, It's Simple and FREE!
As a member, you can post in our forums, upload your photos and videos, use and contribute to our downloads, create your own member page, add your ATV events, and even start your own ATV club to host your own club forum and gallery. Registration is fast and you can even login with social network accounts to sync your profiles and content.
ATV trails to be connected by 2020
Local news Jun 30, 2018
SARAH PAEZ [email protected]
New bill could increase tourism in the county
LOCK HAVEN — Due to a hard-fought change in the state’s fiscal code, Clinton County will finally have an all-terrain vehicle trail connecting the Whiskey Springs Trail to Bloody Skillet by 2020.
State Rep. Mike Hanna (D-Lock Haven) had a hand in pushing the legislation through, said county Commissioner Jeff Snyder, who has been supportive of ATV tourism in the region.
Hanna said the project had been in the works since the era of former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who ended his term in 2011.
“We just decided it was time to get this,” he said.
The bill, an amendment to the fiscal code, says that appropriations for the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) must include the agency’s collaboration with PennDOT to “develop, open and maintain an ATV trail connecting the Whiskey Springs ATV Trail to the Bloody Skillet ATV Trail by utilizing existing state roads and state forest roads by April 1, 2020.”
The amendment also provides for DCNR and PennDOT to “implement the full Northcentral Pennsylvania ATV Initiative” which would create a network of ATV trails from Clinton County to the New York State border by April 1, 2024. This network would link the Haneyville, Bloody Skillet, Snowshoe Rail Trail, Denton Hills and Whiskey Springs trails.
Central Mountains ATV Association President Henry Sorgen IV said his organization has been working on the initiative for the last four years, trying to connect all the ATV trails in northcentral Pennsylvania up to the New York State border. The organization has 1,300 members.
Sorgen said Hanna and State Sen. Joseph Scarnati (R-Brockway) were instrumental in making the necessary changes to the fiscal code. But, he said, it wouldn’t have been possible without support from township and borough councils, county government, regular citizens and CMATVA.
“It’s always been a team initiative,” he said.
CMATVA gave a presentation to the governor’s staff several months ago, which “started that ball rolling,” said Sorgen. “It’s all about tourism…that’s gonna be huge.”
PennDOT has a policy that ATV riders cannot use state roads. But state law says the district manager can authorize ATV usage on state roads. So, Sorgen said, the fiscal code amendment is a way to remedy that contradiction.
Hanna said the project will rely very little on state roads to connect the trails. DCNR is conducting a study through Larson Design Group to determine the best way to connect the trails without using state roads.
One place ATV riders will have to use a state road is the South Renovo Bridge, Hanna said.
Hanna was clear that the development of these trails will have no cost to taxpayers. “As far as trail development goes,” he said, it will all be funded by ATV registration fees. Right now, there are around $180,000 in that fund, said Sorgen.
“There’s no doubt about it, motorized recreation has a tremendous economic impact,” said Hanna. “The number of trucks, trailers and ATVs (on those trails on a holiday weekend) is phenomenal.”
Sorgen said CMATVA wants to make northcentral Pennsylvania’s trail network “the Hatfield McCoy of Pennsylvania.”
ATV tourism is a $1 billion industry in West Virginia, and Hatfield McCoy is one of the state’s most popular trails.
Sorgen said he is sure ATV tourism will be a boon to local residents in Clinton, Center, Potter, Elk and Cameron counties. In Germania, which is near the Denton Hills ATV Trail, he said, there is a small general store with one gas pump that used to make $1,000 a month in gas sales. After ATV travel was legalized there, the store’s monthly sales skyrocketed to 10 times that.
“That’s the potential,” he said. “What’s (ATV tourism) gonna do for little Renovo? It’s gonna boom.”
And, according to a study on ATV recreation in Clinton County done in 2015, the average rider spends approximately $1,400 in the county annually. Those surveyed said they would visit about five more times a year (about 12 times total) if connector trails were built between the existing trail systems and the surrounding communities. The study said increased visits would more than double the annual spending per rider.
Right now, Sorgen said, there are 1,800 miles of riding trail, and 49 percent of that is open to ATVs, whether that be on roads operated by DCNR, private property owners or township councils. But that is set to change soon, with the new state fiscal code amendment. Sorgen estimated the new law will add 200 miles of viable trail. And, he said, the existing CMATVA map will change once they submit the new map to PennDOT.
Hanna said for people who have concerns about motorized recreation, the Larson Group study is taking environmental impact into consideration.
“It’s not just “slap a trail on,“” said Hanna.
And Sorgen said he fully supports finding an environmentally friendly way to implement ATV trails that would connect the existing ones.
He lamented that while “98 percent of us want to follow the rules,” 2 percent of ATV riders don’t respect the land and want to offroad where it’s not allowed.
“We don’t want to be in wetlands,” he said. “We don’t want to be in natural areas where we don’t belong.”
By Guest DunePrincess
Hi Y'all.. I'm new to the site. I added a few of our favorite riding spots. I'll keep adding more..
Just wanted to introduce myself. I would love to meet more Washington riders- and more female riders!. So stop by and say Hi!
This is some exciting news for those who ride the Hatfield McCoy Trails!! The trail authority is working on a connector to connect Rockhouse to the Buffalo Mtn Trail. I copied and pasted this from a blog on the Hatfield McCoy site!!
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Devil Anse Connector...starts soon...
Devil Anse Connector to start work today
Big Jim here comin' to you from the heart of HMT Country.
And boy do I have some big news for you. In about two hours work should start going full tilt on the new Devil Anse Connector that will hook up our famous and super-popular Rockhouse Trails to the Matewan area.
As you know, Rockhouse is very popular -especially among our extreme riders- and it is housed in two counties - Mingo County- via Gilbert and Logan County via the town of Man. Some time back it was announced that the next phase of work for HMT would be to connect trails together starting with connecting the trails in Mingo County together then connecting the trails in Logan County together. Well, construction on that phase starts in earnest today.
Awhile back I ran into somebody I know who is in the know who told me "something big is coming real soon," but would not confirm anything. So Monday evening I ran up to the town of Man where Deputy Director Johnny Fekete lives and met with him after the town council meeting where Johnny shared the good news with the town council.
Fekete said work will soon be completed over the next two months on the Rockhouse trail connector that should make a lot of different people happy for several different reasons- not the least of which would be lessening ATV traffic in one residential area.
I hung around a little to talk with Johnny about this.
“We will start pushing on Wednesday on the Devil Anse Connector, “ Fekete said. “This is a long time proposal and when it is completed it will connect the Rochouse Trail to the town of Matewan.”
Fekete said he hoped the project would be completed in a few months, barring any unforeseen delays.
“This is our big project for the year.” Fekete said the idea for the Devil Anse Connector goes back a decade or so to the early days of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails. Now that most of the trails are completed the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority is looking at connecting them together.
Currently the trails offer over 600 miles of managed trails in and around several towns in Southern West Virginia. The trails have proven to be a great success in regards to bringing in tourism dollars to the area and the HMRRA wants to continue that success in making the coalfields a popular tourism destination.
“This will be a very big thing for our riders, “ Fekete said of the Devil Anse Connector.
Great news for the trail riders and area businesses!
Recently Browsing 0 members
No registered users viewing this page.