Off-roaders, hikers, residents collaborate and find common ground
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The county commissioners this week approved a plan for a dirt bike and ATV park on the landfill property after local motorized users, hiders and neighborhood residents worked together for several months to to address potential conflicts.
The network of trails is shielded in a shallow valley, preventing most of the noise from reaching the Summerwood subdivision, across Highway 6. Assistant county manager Thad Noll said a site visit to Summerwood helped convince residents that that sound impacts could be mitigation. The park could be ready for use within a few weeks, he added. See a full-size version of the map here.
As part of the agreement, the Summit County Off-Road Riders will reclaim closed trails, develop rules for the area and provide insurance that covers any potential Summit County liability. The off-road group will manage use of the area day-to-day and has also agreed to lead the charge on restoring wetlands in the area that have suffered from off-road use and other impacts.
According to the management plan, the park will consist of a main track, a beginner track, a short single track trail loop, a small picnic site and parking area with portable toilet. Track design and construction will make use of the topography to reduce noise impacts in surrounding areas. See a draft version of the plan here.
On busy weekends, SCORR volunteers will serve as park hosts to help educate users about park rules. The group will also do some sound-testing at the track to and around the county to help ensure that vehicles comply with state noise regulations.
The park will be accessed from the cemetery road with no OHV riding on the cemetery road. The trail system on the landfill property won’t have connections to trails on nearby national forest lands. Both restrictions will be clearly marked. Parking at the site will be designed to accommodate 20 full-size vehicles with trailers.
The off-road group plans to fund management of the area with user fees from the sale of season passes and day passes, and potentially with corporate sponsorships.
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