Off-road trails shouldn’t be taken for granted. There are various disputes across the country that threaten to minimize the amount of public lands available for trail riders. In addition, private land use can be taken away, when riders don’t show proper respect for the property, the environment, the rules, and others on the trail. There are many ways to get involved and fight for the right to enjoy off-road sports and hobbies. Perhaps the most practical rule of thumb is to simply adhere to proper etiquette on ATV trails.
Access to off-road trail systems is a privilege that many have had the experience of losing as a result of irresponsible and careless acts of a few. It’s really important for every rider to act as a representative for quad riding. In general, it’s important to take care of the environment and share trails with others. One of the reasons ATV trails are often put at risk is that riding in extreme motorized vehicles is noisy and rowdy. If there are others in the area who are trying to enjoy the serenity in nature, it’s best to cut down the amount of noise and dust in the atmosphere.
The following is more information about basic rules of etiquette for ATV riders:
• Stay on the trail. When riders venture into muddy meadows or ride along the banks of streams, they create unwanted, unsightly ruts that can be a strike against everyone who enjoys off-road trails.
• Trail users that are non-motorized always get the right-of-way. Yield to bicyclists, hikers, and horses. The best practice is to pull over, turn off your engine, and let them pass.
• Whenever possible, avoid riding over shrubs, trees, and other vegetation. It never looks good when wildlife habitats are damaged. In addition, these destructive activities result in accelerated soil erosion.
• Stay in the middle of the trail. When trails are widened, they may need costly repair. Besides that, widened trails are unsightly.
• Keep your muffler system the way you got it from the manufacturer. Loud exhaust systems are annoying to just about everyone.
• When trails are closed, whether seasonally or permanently, stay off of them.
• Bring bags with you so that you can carry out your own trash. Never litter but pick up trash when you come across it.
• Don’t mess with wildlife or domestic animals on the trail. Keep a respectful distance from wild animals.
• Be polite when passing other riders. Follow at a safe distance until you get a signal to pass. Don’t bump your throttle right in front of them, since you could kick up dust or spray them with gravel, potentially angering the other person.
• Be sure to wash you quad after each ride so that you avoid possibly infecting new areas with harmful weeds.
Keep the Fun Going
ATVs are fun, powerful machines. Keep the excitement going for yourself and others by following these basic rules of etiquette for quad riding.