Now that summer is here, people looking for some fun in the outdoors are getting out their off-road and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and hitting the trails more than ever. There is an increased need for development and upkeep of trails since now more riders are taking advantage of this type of recreational activity.

Associations get needed help

While non-profit organizations help interested persons get together to build and maintain trails, money to fund such activities is often in short supply, especially this year. Recently, Polaris answered the need for trail support in the form of their T.R.A.I.L. Grant program awards. Trail associations around the country won funds to build and maintain safe pathways for off-road fun. Of the 12 grants given, totaling $110,000 in all, two of the recipients were Minnesota clubs, Ely’s Trail Prospectors Alliance and the Range Trail Committee in Virginia.

Well maintained trails promote safety

Crucial trail system maintenance that provides a safe off-roading experience includes prevention of erosion, sound and stable structures and elimination of impassable obstacles. Some ways trail volunteers accomplish this is by:

  • Creating barriers to direct water flow off the trails
  • Inspecting and repairing bridges
  • Clearing trails of trees toppled by winter snow

If you and your family plan to go out and enjoy summer by riding ATVs, make sure that everyone, especially children, reviews safe vehicle operation rules. If it has been a while since your child has ridden, take time for them to practice steering, controlling the throttle, and braking. Practicing will build confidence, and at the same time, alert you to any skills that your young rider needs to sharpen.